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 defending and supporting those whose rights have been 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.”
“It is vital to acknowledge the new reality before taking any steps to change the existing policies. The world is not the same anymore. Tackling religion-based terrorism is perhaps one, if not the most serious threat the world face in the 21st century. Unfortunately, more terror attacks like the ones in San Bernardino, Brussels and Paris are expected to occur. While those attacks were a reminder of the challenges that lay ahead, they exposed the need to have an improved early warning system that may ultimately save civilian lives. Such a system should take into account the shortcomings of the current warning frameworks and evaluate the usefulness of warnings generated by improved models that would cover a broad range of attacks, larger geographic areas within the country in question and a wide range of potential attack scenarios. The system is likely to facilitate well informed decisions on the assessment of information gathered from different sources. In this vein, finding a balance between protecting human rights and ensuring national security is key.”May 2016
“It is time for the international community to work for the creation of an independent Kurdistan as they did once for the Jews after the Holocaust. The current war against ISIS, which is perceived by many as World War Three, can be compared to World War Two. After horrible wars, great changes can be brought about for those who have suffered extreme injustice.”