Inside Perspective, Life as An Afghan Woman

Second Act storefrontSeptember 13th, Sunday, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Second Act Marketplace and Events
1727 Haight St., SF 94117
FREE and Open to the Public

Writing for Change: Afghan Women Pen a New Destiny for Afghanistan

Lori Noack will discuss how the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP) provides a platform for Afghan women to share the stories of their lives. From 10 writers in 2009 to nearly 300 in 2015, over 1900 poems and journalistic essays are published on Lori will share highlights of AWWP’s new projects, including an oral history initiative with illiterate women, a monthly radio series in Afghanistan, and online writing workshops in Dari.  

Washing the Dust from Our Hearts book coverLori and audience members will read chosen selections from the newly released AWWP anthology, Washing the Dust from our Hearts, a bi-lingual collection that covers such themes as marriage and family, love and forgiveness, education, and human rights. For many writers, the act of putting pen to paper was literally an escape from their burqas. Afghan women are often told to stop writing, since women’s writing is often considered unworthy, and women are discouraged from participating in public life. Q&A will follow. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Learn how you can participate in this important project!

Lori Noack Lori Noack is Executive Director of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. She has over 20 years of non-profit leadership experience, along with writing, editing, consulting, and arts management expertise. She has been the executive director of nationally recognized music festivals in Oregon and San Francisco, a newspaper editor, founder of an arts management agency, a university lecturer and a writing instructor. Noack earned her MFA in Creative Writing in 2009.

Humaira Ghilzai Humaira Ghilzai will present a revealing slide show, “Afghanistan’s History, Through Afghan Women’s Eyes” an overview of Afghanistan’s recent history and how it has affected Afghan women’s lives. Humaira will also talk about her findings during her recent trip to Afghanistan and the state of Afghan women. Hand made, colorful beaded scarves, shirts and Afghan dresses lovingly made by women in AFN’s literacy classes will be available for purchase.

Humaira Ghilzai is an Afghan American Social Entrepreneur, writer and gender equality advocate. She is the co-founder of Afghan Friends Network (AFN) and the Hayward-Ghazni Sister City relationship, where has spearheaded critical programs to improve education for women, girls and boys, particularly in the province of Ghazni, Afghanistan. Afghan Friends Network  Women

She also lectures about Afghanistan, its people and women’s issues. Humaira was the cultural consultant for four stage productions of the Kite Runner, Blood and Gifts, Love in Afghanistan, The Prepared Table, Afghanistan and the F.O.B, Slow Falling Birds, along with a Hollywood movie. Humaira blogs about Afghan culture and cuisine on her popular blog Afghan Culture Unveiled.

It’s these experiences that have inspired Humaira’s first novel Unraveling Veil, a work in progress. Previously, Humaira was director of international marketing at Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation. Humaira has a bachelor’s’ degree in International Marketing and has travelled to 6 continents and 35 countries around world.

Event Sponsors

Afghan Friends Network  logo
 Afghan Women’s Writing Project logo
Afghan Women’s Writing Project

Women’s National Book Association — SF Chapter 

Thanks to Second Act Marketplace for their community support in hosting this event.

Parking: Street parking is limited, however, there is a reasonably priced parking lot available within a short walk:

ABC Parking, 801 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 665-6699, $3.00 per hour

San Francisco MUNI:

Second Act  is conveniently accessible from the N-Judah train, and the 6, 7, 71 and 43 MUNI bus lines. (


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