“A Beacon of Kindness at IRC”

Mariam White is a beacon of kindness and integrity in the IRC office. Her warm welcome on my second day was just the beginning of experiencing her genuine and caring nature. Beyond her initial friendliness, Mariam consistently demonstrates a remarkable level of kindness that permeates every interaction she has with others.

Her big heart extends to everyone in the office, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. Mariam’s approach to communication is marked by sincerity, and she treats everyone with respect and consideration. She goes beyond the formalities of greetings, actively seeking to connect with both clients and team members on a personal level.

What sets Mariam apart is her unwavering commitment to help others. Her willingness to assist is not limited to certain tasks or specific individuals; instead, she opens her door of support to everyone in the office. This commitment stems from her genuine concern for the well-being of her colleagues and her belief in fostering a supportive community within the workplace.

In addition to her kindness, Mariam embodies qualities of integrity, honesty, transparency, and commitment. Her actions align with her words, creating an atmosphere of trust among her peers. Mariam is someone you can rely on, not just professionally but also on a personal level. Her honesty and transparency contribute to a workplace culture where open communication and trust are valued.

Mariam’s commitment to the team goes beyond the call of duty. She actively participates in building team cohesion and goes the extra mile to make a lasting impression. Her consistent smile reflects not only her positive demeanor but also her genuine passion for creating a positive and thriving work environment.

Her vision for a great working environment with pleasant relationships is not just a goal but a mission that she actively pursues. Mariam’s kindness is not just a surface-level gesture; it is the driving force behind her passion to enhance the workplace and make it better for everyone. Her commitment to humanity shines through in every action she takes, creating a workplace culture that stands as a testament to the power of compassion and teamwork.

In the end, Mariam White’s story is not just about a successful professional; it’s about a person who has discovered the profound impact of love in the workplace. As you navigate through her narrative, you may find yourself not only inspired by her leadership but also touched by the reminder that, in the midst of daily tasks and responsibilities, it is the love for our fellow human beings that truly makes a workplace extraordinary.


“Professional Journey with Mallissa”

On November 16, 2022, at the initiative of Mallissa Watts, the IRC team was invited to watch an Afghan documentary at the Metreon AMC theatre in San Francisco. That evening marked the first time I met Mallissa, and our encounter was underscored by the profound sadness of the documentary. We engaged in a brief conversation before entering the theater with the rest of the team.

The documentary’s portrayal of the struggles faced by people during and after the war in Afghanistan struck a deeply emotional chord, especially for me, as I watched the film while physically in Afghanistan. The scenes depicting individuals behind the airport gates, desperately seeking evacuation, resonated with the harsh realities I was witnessing in my home country.

As the movie unfolded, the emotions intensified, and I found myself unable to contain my tears. Each frame served as a poignant reminder of the challenges and hardships endured by the Afghan people, bringing the harsh reality of the situation to the forefront.

Throughout the year of working together in the same office and department, Mallissa consistently demonstrated qualities that set her apart. Her kind heart, combined with a wealth of knowledge and excellent organizational and time management skills, made her an invaluable member of our team. It was evident that she approached her work with dedication and a genuine desire to contribute positively.

In the hustle of the office, Mallissa’s warmth was a constant presence. Whenever I encountered her, she never failed to greet me with a friendly “Hi, Khanzada.” This simple gesture created a welcoming atmosphere and showcased her personable nature. Her ability to connect with colleagues on a personal level contributed to a harmonious and collaborative work environment.

In our professional interactions, Mallissa’s passion for supporting refugees shone through consistently. Her commitment to facilitating their journey to start new lives in the United States was not merely a job duty but a heartfelt mission. Whether through brainstorming sessions, meetings, or casual conversations, her ideas were always thoughtful and geared towards making a lasting positive impact on the lives of those seeking refuge.

One thing that truly impressed me about Mallissa is her remarkable skill set. She exhibits a high level of organizational ethic, excels as a communicator, and consistently applies organizational principles when working with everyone around her. Beyond her professional attributes, Mallissa shines as an excellent mother and is exceptionally friendly.

What sets Mallissa apart is her positive mindset and remarkable attitude. She has an incredible ability to see the good things in people and is always ready to lend a helping hand to others. Her genuine willingness to support and uplift those around her makes her not only a valuable professional but also an outstanding individual.

In October 2023, Mallissa resigned from her position as the AIRS Resettlement Coordinator and encouraged me to apply for the role. Upon successfully passing the interview and being hired as the Resettlement Coordinator, Mallissa congratulated me with these encouraging words: “Congratulations!!! I was really rooting for you and admire your incredible work ethic, positive attitude, and kindness with both clients and colleagues. I can’t think of a better person for this role!”

Her words were truly energizing and inspired me to reflect on my experience working with Mallissa. She has been an exceptional leader and team player, consistently demonstrating a positive attitude, remarkable work ethic, and kindness in her interactions with both clients and colleagues. Mallissa’s support has been instrumental in my journey, and her example continues to shape my approach to the role.


“Career Growth with Ms. Amina at IRC”

In July 2022, I began my new career in the United States with the esteemed International Rescue Committee (IRC) in a short-term employment role that spanned three months. During this time, I had the privilege of connecting with a diverse network of individuals, and each day was immensely enjoyable. Within a few days, I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Amina, who had recently been promoted to the role of Resettlement Coordinator.

My initial impression of Ms. Amina was that she possessed an incredible work ethic, a positive attitude, and a kind demeanor towards both clients and colleagues. As days turned into weeks, I had the opportunity to work under her supervision. It became apparent that she not only had strong leadership qualities but also a deep passion for fostering a cohesive team.

Towards the end of my initial assignment, another opportunity presented itself, and Ms. Amina encouraged me to take on the role of an R&P Caseworker. I was drawn to this job as it aligned with my desire to help refugees, and I admired Ms. Amina’s strong leadership and dedication to building a robust team.

Starting in this new role brought with it fresh challenges and increased responsibilities. I was fortunate to have Ms. Amina as my supervisor, always ready to answer questions and provide the support needed to deliver high-quality services to our clients. I worked under her supervision for nearly one year and half, during which time I found her to be supportive, courteous, knowledgeable, transparent, and unwavering in her integrity.

On September 15, 2023, an opportunity arose for the position of Resettlement Coordinator. I sought Ms. Amina’s counsel, and she encouraged me to apply, assuring me that I was well-deserving of the opportunity. After a successful interview, I was selected for the role and began my new journey as a Resettlement Coordinator within the IRC on 10/16,2023.

I am pleased to acknowledge Ms. Amina as a valued collaborator in my career at IRC. She is a remarkable team player, characterized by her integrity, punctuality, and the ability to maintain a positive demeanor even during challenging times. Her exemplary leadership skills, proactive nature, charm, organizational abilities, dedication, and competence make her stand out.


“A Shining Example of Excellence and Mentorship”

I am honored to write about one of my colleagues, Sydney Polich, with whom I have the pleasure of working at the IRC since July 05, 2022, Holding the position of IRC-HR & Admin Coordinator, Sydney’s wealth of experience shines brightly through her actions and demeanor, which consistently exceed the boundaries of her official title.

Sydney’s exceptional qualities create a tapestry of excellence evident in every interaction. Her genuine and approachable nature fosters an atmosphere of comfort and guidance, making individuals feel valued and heard. Her unique ability to prioritize both people and tasks demonstrates her commitment to cultivating strong working relationships.

However, what truly sets Sydney apart is her unwavering decisiveness. In critical moments, she demonstrates an exceptional aptitude for making well-informed decisions that not only enhance team efficiency but also foster a culture of trust and reliability.

Her interactions are refreshingly natural, as if she’s known each person for a decade. Her communication style is a harmonious blend of warmth, friendliness, and authenticity that creates connections reminiscent of conversations among close friends. Sydney’s innate people-centric approach and genuine interest in fostering connections empower open and honest dialogues, pivotal for building trust and collaboration within our team.

Sydney’s personality is an intricate mosaic of traits that leave an enduring mark on those fortunate enough to interact with her. From her approachable warmth that instantly fosters meaningful connections, to her empathetic listening skills that create a sense of belonging, Sydney’s multifaceted qualities are a testament to her character.

Her adaptable nature allows her to navigate diverse personalities and situations seamlessly, always preserving harmony. Sydney’s confident demeanor, coupled with her decisiveness, provides a guiding light for our team, steering us through challenges with assurance and poise. Her positive attitude and inclusivity elevate our collaborative environment, while her resilience in the face of adversity inspires us all.

Yet, Sydney’s confidence remains grounded in humility. She never seeks the spotlight, but rather aims to contribute to the success of our team through her deep understanding of her skills and a genuine desire to uplift others.

Sydney Polich’s presence significantly enriches our work dynamics. Her seniority extends beyond professional expertise; it encompasses her exceptional interpersonal skills that resonate throughout the IRC. We are privileged to have her as a colleague, and her profound positive influence touches each corner of our organization.

In acknowledging Sydney’s qualities, both as a mentor and for her impactful character, it’s evident that her contributions are invaluable. She embodies a beacon of positivity and inspiration, instilling a sense of value and support in all who cross her path. Her exceptional personality serves as a guiding light, enhancing our collective experience both personally and professionally. Sydney’s unwavering kindness, mentorship, and impactful character illuminate the path of success for all he team.


Karine’s Profound Impact: A Journey of Gratitude

Reflecting on the incredible journey I’ve had with Karine, the Director of Gender Policy & Practice at Navanti, fills me with deep humility and profound honor. Her impact on my pursuit of gender equality and women empowerment in Afghanistan is nothing short of transformative.

Since the moment we connected in 2016, Karine’s unwavering dedication to supporting and empowering me has been an unwavering pillar of strength. Her expertise and passion for helping others are awe-inspiring, making her a beacon of inspiration in my life. Her investment in my growth goes beyond mere mentorship; she has taken the time to review and guide me in refining my writing and proposal skills, shaping me into a more effective advocate for change.

What sets Karine apart is not just her remarkable professional achievements, but her profound compassion and genuine commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of those she encounters. She has the rare ability to go above and beyond, extending a helping hand to aspiring individuals like me. Karine’s tireless dedication to promoting gender equality and social justice has ignited a fire within me to do the same.

In Karine, I have found not just a mentor but also a source of boundless strength and unwavering motivation. Her unwavering support has been the driving force behind my determination to create lasting change. Her compassion and tireless efforts to empower others have made her an exceptional role model and a true champion for women’s rights.

Her relentless pursuit of a more equitable world is awe-inspiring. Karine’s passion for uplifting communities and fostering gender equality is a testament to her remarkable character and leadership. Through her actions, she has become a guiding force, illuminating the path toward a brighter and more inclusive future.

Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for the transformative influence Karine has had on my journey. Her exceptional work has left an immeasurable impact on the lives she touches, mine included.

With the utmost respect and boundless gratitude,



“David Montieth’s Mentorship: A Transformative Influence”

I am honored to write about David Montieth, a distinguished individual whom I have known since 2016 through my role module, Jamshid Sultanzada. Mr. Montieth willingly collaborated with me on Human Resource Policy and HR forms, both in PomTech and WISE Organization. His generous sharing of knowledge and invaluable advice has been instrumental in my professional growth.

Feeling deeply grateful for his support, I believe it is time to express my heartfelt appreciation and acknowledge his exceptional contributions. David’s practical insights have significantly enriched my writing on organizational matters, and his innovative ideas have played a pivotal role in my personal and career development.

Furthermore, David’s mentorship extends beyond the professional realm and has had a profound impact on my personal growth as well. His wise counsel and unwavering encouragement have inspired me to strive for excellence and seize opportunities for self-improvement. Under his guidance, I have not only gained valuable knowledge but also developed the confidence to tackle new challenges with zeal and determination.

David Montieth influence on my career journey transcends beyond mere advice and expertise. He has become a role model for me, exemplifying the importance of dedication, integrity, and continuous learning in every aspect of life. His passion for his work and his unwavering commitment to assisting others have left an indelible impression on me, shaping my approach to my own responsibilities and interactions with others.

I cannot emphasize enough my sincere gratitude for his consistent support and guidance. David’s willingness to share his wealth of knowledge and experience has significantly elevated the quality of my work and has opened doors to new opportunities.

His selfless dedication to helping others, coupled with his exceptional expertise, has been a driving force in both my professional and personal growth. I am truly honored to have crossed paths with such an exemplary individual, and I am forever indebted to him for the positive influence he continues to have on my journey.

In conclusion, David Montieth mentorship and guidance have been a beacon of light, illuminating my path towards growth and success. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from him, and I wholeheartedly express my deepest appreciation for the profound impact he has had on my life.


“Anya Kabardina Volf: A Transformative Influence on My Academic Journey”

Anya Kabardina Volf, the exceptional program coordinator of Kazakh-American Free University, has left a profound impact on my academic journey. From the very beginning of my application process for a Master’s Degree, her exemplary dedication in handling my paperwork and expediting the application was truly outstanding, contributing significantly to the smooth processing of my admission.

Beyond her official responsibilities, Anya went above and beyond to assist not only me but also other students with the complex visa issuance process at the Kazakhstan embassy in Kabul. Her invaluable support and guidance alleviated the stress and uncertainty associated with obtaining a visa, for which I am sincerely grateful.

During my visit to Kazakhstan, I had the privilege of meeting Anya in person, and the experience left me immensely honored. She radiated genuine kindness, impressive knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to supporting all students. Her passion for her role and the university’s mission was evident in every interaction, and it was inspiring to witness her dedication firsthand.

Anya Kabardina Volf’s contributions have undeniably made a positive impact on the university community, and the institution takes great pride in her exceptional work. She is a truly valuable asset to the Kazakh-American Free University, and her willingness to support and be responsive has been consistent during my time at the University and upon my return. Her magnanimity provided me with the opportunity to write about her and cherish the memories of our interactions.

I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have Anya as a crucial part of my academic journey, and I can confidently say that her remarkable efforts and support have played a significant role in shaping my educational experience.


“A Journey of Gratitude and Impact”

In September 2012, I had the opportunity to apply for the position of Grant & Subcontract Officer for the SIKA-West project, an influential initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development and administered by AECOM. Following a successful interview, I was delighted to accept the position on October 02, 2012, marking the beginning of my journey with the project.

Several months later, I had the privilege of meeting Kara Dixon, who joined the program as the Grant & Compliance Manager. Kara’s profound impact on my professional growth became evident as she not only demonstrated expertise in her role but also exhibited qualities of kindness, dedication, and support. Her openness to share knowledge and her unwavering enthusiasm for the program’s success were truly inspiring. Kara’s mentorship led me to embrace programmatic excellence, emphasizing adherence to USAID regulations and fostering virtues of kindness and empathy within my professional approach.

In my role as the Grant & Subcontract Officer, I assumed responsibility for overseeing and managing the comprehensive output of the logical framework in Herat. With a steadfast commitment, I ensured the effective execution of over USD $5,000,000 in grant funding across the program’s target districts. Handling 180 grants and training awards, I consistently upheld the highest standards of quality and compliance.

Over the course of three years working closely with Kara, she made the difficult decision to return to the United States. Her departure marked a significant loss, as she had been an indispensable manager providing unwavering support to me and my colleagues.

While her absence from the program was felt deeply, the profound influence of Kara’s mentorship remains, reminding me of the transformative power of a compassionate leader. Her unwavering support and encouragement have left an indelible mark on my life, instilling in me the values of dedication, inclusivity, and genuine care for others.

Fast forward to June 2021, when Afghanistan faced a dramatic shift in its security situation, I found myself compelled to seek refuge in the United States. During these challenging times, I reached out to Kara, requesting her assistance in securing a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) through a recommendation letter. To my immense relief and joy, Kara responded promptly, expressing her understanding of the risks involved, having experienced the situation herself during her time in Afghanistan. Her commitment to my well-being was evident as she assured me that she had already initiated the recommendation letter, providing a much-needed sense of hope and comfort during the uncertainty.

Kara’s unwavering support did not waver even after Afghanistan’s fall. Her glowing recommendation letter opened doors for me to embark on a new chapter in the United States. Beyond the professional realm, Kara’s mentorship and support have played an invaluable role in my personal growth. I am filled with deep gratitude and determination to pay forward the compassion and guidance she extended to me.

When reunited in Washington DC in March 2023, Kara’s gracious invitation to lunch offered an opportunity to reconnect, reigniting memories of her influential mentorship. As our conversation unfolded, I was reminded of her lasting impact on my life and career. Kara’s dedication to humanitarian causes, commitment to excellence, and her passion for making a positive impact on the community continue to serve as a beacon of inspiration for me.

With Kara’s lessons imprinted in my journey, I am committed to carrying forward her legacy of kindness, empathy, and dedication to excellence. As I embark on this new chapter in the United States, I strive to create positive change and contribute to the greater good, just as Kara has done for me.

As I embrace the opportunities that lie ahead, I do so with gratitude for the impact Kara Dixon has had on my life’s trajectory. Her mentorship has been an invaluable gift, and I will forever cherish the memories and lessons learned under her guidance. With a renewed sense of purpose, I am eager to make a positive impact in the world, fueled by the support and inspiration she has provided me along my journey.


“Father’s Guiding Light”

My father’s unwavering dedication to nurturing my potential and molding me into a confident individual has been the bedrock of my self-assurance and achievements. He taught me the value of perseverance and the importance of staying true to my principles, no matter how challenging the circumstances may be.

As a beacon of knowledge and wisdom, my father ignited a thirst for learning within me that remains unquenchable. His passion for intellectual pursuits inspired me to explore various fields of knowledge, unlocking doors to a world of ideas and endless possibilities. His library became my sanctuary, and through the pages of countless books, I found solace, inspiration, and the courage to dream big.

During moments of doubt or tribulation, my father’s calming presence has been a balm to my soul. His unwavering belief in my abilities has fortified my confidence and encouraged me to persevere in the face of adversity. Like a sheltering tree, he provided shade during life’s scorching summers, shielding me from life’s harshness and showing me the value of compassion and empathy towards others.

My father’s commitment to service has left an indelible mark on my heart. He taught me that true leadership is not about authority or control but about selfless service to others. His benevolence has extended beyond our family, touching the lives of those less fortunate in our community, and sparking a ripple effect of kindness and goodwill that continues to spread.

In family discussions, his approach has always been one of respect and inclusion, fostering an environment where every voice is heard and valued. This has not only strengthened our family bonds but also instilled in me the belief that unity and cooperation are essential for creating a harmonious and thriving society.

As I embark on my life’s journey, I carry the torch of my father’s legacy, striving to be a positive force in the lives of others, just as he has been for me. His profound teachings have molded my character, and I endeavor to be a source of inspiration and guidance for those around me.

I stand in awe of the profound impact my father’s love and leadership have had on my life. His unwavering support has kindled a flame within me, motivating me to reach for the stars and make a positive difference in the world. My gratitude knows no bounds, for I am forever indebted to the remarkable leader, mentor, and father who has shaped me into the person I am today.

As I carry his legacy forward, I do so with profound humility, embracing the responsibility of being a torchbearer for the values he instilled in me. My heart overflows with gratitude for the gift of such an extraordinary father—a guiding star whose light will forever guide me through life’s joys and challenges. In his love and wisdom, I find the strength to face each day with courage, compassion, and the determination to make a lasting impact on the world.

I am profoundly influenced by the enduring love and guidance of my father, who has been the cornerstone and unwavering companion of my life’s journey. His words and gestures have adorned my life with moments of unparalleled beauty and elegance. Throughout his existence, he has been the sole figure whose affectionate embrace has remained open to me, embellishing my world with a touch of enchantment and rendering it even more resplendent.

It is with great pride that I declare myself the offspring of such a remarkable individual, a figure akin to an angel in his selfless devotion and unwavering support. His affectionate kisses carry the fragrance of flowers, symbolizing the essence of his love, pure and untainted. Recently, I have come to realize the profound challenge of being distanced from one’s parents, and no matter the mastery of one’s literary prowess, expressing the greatness and grandeur of a father remains an insurmountable task.

When I write about my father, an overwhelming sense of joy envelopes me, as I recall the immense dedication, he invested in carving a better life for us, working tirelessly to secure our welfare. He unreservedly sacrificed his youth for my personal growth, accompanying me through the trials of adolescence and into old age. His entire life has been a testament to service, devoted to the well-being of his people and community, ardently contributing to the progress of his homeland and its inhabitants.

Throughout his personal and professional endeavors, my father confronted and triumphed over numerous challenges, exhibiting unwavering determination while living a fulfilling and humble existence. Even in the face of adversity, he displayed immense fortitude, embracing his own sorrows and tribulations with unwavering resolve, remaining steadfast in his commitment to serving others.

Though life presented its share of hardships, his stature never faltered, resolute and unwavering. The companionship of books has been his lifelong solace, offering wisdom and insight in times of introspection. On occasion, when nostalgia for his legacy overwhelms me, I envision him seeking solace amidst nature’s lush greenery, finding peace near the refreshing green well adjacent to the window of his world.

At other times, he immerses himself in the company of flowers and nightingales, gently voicing the unspoken sentiments that he holds dear to his heart, shouldering the burden of silent contemplation. One can discern the deepest pain he bears—the anguish of yearning for a humane society, a compassionate nation for his homeland, and its people. He grieves for the hardships endured by his compatriots, their struggle for sustenance becoming a poignant reminder of their unyielding spirit.

Their enduring aspiration is for Afghanistan to embrace peace and tranquility, akin to other nations. My father’s heart resonates with this yearning, encapsulating a fervent wish for prosperity, serenity, and the well-being of his beloved country, its people, and the land that has been etched deep within his soul.

Characteristics of my father:

  1. Profound Talent and Knowledge: My father possesses remarkable talent, skill, and knowledge in the art of writing. His exquisite handwriting bears resemblance to the beauty of Nastaliq script. His ability to articulate thoughts and ideas through the written word is a testament to his exceptional abilities as a wordsmith.
  2. Musically Inclined: In the past, my father displayed a profound interest in music and demonstrated his proficiency in playing the dutar, a traditional string instrument. Even now, he occasionally indulges in the melodies of the dutar, using the language of strings to express emotions, sometimes engaging in spirited musical performances.
  3. Love for Books and Music: My father’s love for books is boundless, and he cherishes the world of literature with utmost enthusiasm. Similarly, his passion for music knows no bounds, and he values the profound impact it has on human expression and emotions.
  4. Appreciation for Nature’s Beauty: My father’s refined taste and affection for flowers and their unique allure are evident. He has a deep understanding of the mysteries of creation and cherishes life’s transient nature. Consequently, he endeavors to derive pleasure and embrace life’s every moment, regardless of circumstances.
  5. Selflessness and Dedication: My father exemplifies true selflessness and unwavering dedication to the well-being of his fellow countrymen. Throughout his life, he has put the interests of others above his own, displaying a spirit of sacrifice and service that sets an inspiring example.
  6. Dignified and Resilient: Over the course of his life, my father has displayed a dignified and resolute demeanor. His unwavering strength and perseverance in the face of challenges and adversities reflect a deep sense of determination and inner fortitude, akin to that of a steadfast mountain.
  7. Compassion and Generosity: Like a blossoming flower, my father exudes compassion and generosity. Endowed with the patience of a mountain, he gracefully navigates the hardships of life, while embracing the well-being of all family members with utmost care.
  8. Love and Patience: My father’s heart is akin to a clear and transparent crystal, displaying immense love and patience in all circumstances. He faces life’s most trying moments with stoicism, never complaining or faltering in his commitment to support and uplift his loved ones.
  9. Nurturing Nature: He is always brimming with affection, patience, and resilience, tenderly nurturing his children and ensuring their protection from life’s challenges and harsh realities. His love knows no bounds, as he endeavors to shield his offspring from harm.
  10. An Abode of Love and Sacrifice: My father’s heart is an abode of boundless love, compassion, friendship, selflessness, and sacrifice. His life has been dedicated to the well-being and happiness of those around him, perpetually reflecting the concerns of society at large.
  11. Mentor and Guide: Throughout my journey of growth and development, my father has been my devoted mentor and guide. With his insightful teachings, he has liberated me from ignorance and instilled wisdom, illuminating the path towards a purposeful and fulfilling life.
  12. The Radiant Sun: Like a radiant sun, my father dispels the darkness of ignorance with the warmth of his love and affection. He imparts the riches of life through his profound presence, enriching my journey with wisdom and joy.

In conclusion, I am profoundly proud of my father, who fulfills his responsibilities with unwavering dedication and selflessness. His remarkable attributes as a mentor, a father, and a human being serve as an exemplary model for all. I pray for the longevity and well-being of my father and all fathers who tirelessly strive to guide their children towards a brighter and prosperous future.