Born and raised in Lebanon, the First Lady met her husband, President Ashraf Ghani, at the American University of Beirut. The couple married in March 1975, first settling in Kabul then traveling to the United States to pursue their education. They were blessed with two children, Mariam and Tarek.
While living in the United States, Mrs. Ghani dedicated her time to the welfare of her family while holding a series of incidental jobs. She also volunteered at the World Bank Family Network, welcoming the families of staff newly hired by the World Bank Group.
In 2002, once back in Afghanistan, she took an interest in understanding the social challenges in Kabul and concentrated on helping Aschiana, a grassroots organization focusing on the needs of the disadvantaged children in the city.
After the election of her husband as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in September 2014, she assumed the role of First Lady of Afghanistan. With the help of a small team of colleagues, she strives to create a positive environment in which every citizen of Afghanistan can achieve his/her potential and can take full part in the development of the country.
Since opening the doors to her office in October 2014, Mrs. Ghani has met with hundreds of her compatriots, concentrating on the most vulnerable among them. She sees her role as a listener, a facilitator, and an advocate. She strongly believes in women and youth’s aptitudes as agents of change and is proud of their achievements to date.
The First Lady has also been instrumental in initiating discussions at a national level focusing on promoting social peace and responsible citizenship. She has encouraged women and youth to explore and debate the process of replacing the reign of terror with the rule of Law; of promoting mediation and conflict resolution instead of resorting to violence; of acting respectfully towards others while expecting the same respect from them; and of assuming responsibility for one’s environment whether within the family or towards the whole society.
The First Lady holds a Diplome de I’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, France (1969), an MA in Political Studies from the American University of Beirut (1974), and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University in New York (1983).