Widad is an international humanitarian and human rights advocate. She is the co-founder of Defend International – an NGO devoted to peace, democracy, diplomacy and human rights.
In addition to being recognised in the field of global health, she has also been accredited as observer and participant in major United Nations meetings and other international conferences. She has built her reputation on experience and determination in defending and supporting people whose rights are threatened or violated in one way or another. She considers herself an international citizen and has facilitated a series of innovative projects aimed at promoting a culture of peace. The success of her endeavours resulted in her being awarded the 2014 International Pfeffer Peace Award for her “worldwide efforts in support of peace and justice” and a ‘Special Prize’ for bridging gaps between cultures.
Her name, Widad, is a derivative of Wendidad or Venidad, which is a portion of the sacred texts of Avesta, the Holy book of Zoroastrians.
“I would have loved if someone noticed my pain as a child and how my childhood was ruined because of conflicts. One of the biggest challenges in life is to overcome the trauma of war, particularly during childhood… Now, I would like to help the survivors acknowledge their past experiences. I want them to know that I feel their pain; I’ll be there to communicate their suffering and highlight the contradictory emotions they often evoke. My aim is to take part in the process of empowering and motivating them so that they can overcome these tragedies and become the extraordinary leaders of the future. There are glimmers of hope, even in dark times.”