Farkhunda Muhtaj Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Farkhunda Muhtaj        

Professional Footballer & Social Activist (Captain of the Afghanistan Women's National Team and Player for Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivise)

Farkhunda Muhtaj is a professional soccer player and social activist. She is the captain of the Afghanistan Women’s National Soccer Team and competes for Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivise. In 2021 after the Taliban came into power, she led the evacuation of over 300 Afghans including the Afghanistan Youth National Soccer Team to Portugal.

Her parents were refugees forced to leave Afghanistan the first time the Taliban came into power in the 90s. Muhtaj’s family immigrated to Canada at the age of two. She grew up having lived and learned experiences of the difficulties refugees and immigrants are faced with while rebuilding their lives.

She is the co-founder of Scarborough Simbas, a non-profit organization that uses sport to help ease the settlement journey of refugees and newcomers to Canada, the Director of Culture and Conscience at the Respect Group, a humanitarian ambassador for Penny Appeal Canada and UNHCR Netherlands, and sits on the board of League 1 Ontario’s women’s soccer committee.

Muhtaj was one of thirty female leaders in soccer invited by FIFA and UEFA to participate in the 2022 Women in Football Leadership Development Programme in Switzerland. Muhtaj is committed to developing and implementing sustainable projects locally and globally to help advance equitable and diverse opportunities for refugees and newcomers, women and girls, and underserved communities to feel empowered and become impactful leaders. She is a member of Common Goal, a charitable organization where she donates 1% of her salary toward anti-racism education and actively engages in tackling social challenges. She is also an INKEY Global Change Maker and Fund Leader where she allocates funding globally to support transformational youth-led social impact initiatives.

Muhtaj was recognized as a Top 30 YorkU Alumni under 30 in 2022 and by famous football clubs such as FC Barcelona for her active dedication to social justice. She has also been the recipient of many accolades including the Canadian Premier League Game Changer Award, the Community Leadership Award by the Office of the Mayor in the City of Clarington, the Women Who Inspire Award by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, and the Community Involvement Award by the Canadian Afghan Sport Association among others.

Muhtaj earned two degrees from York University; a BSc degree in Kinesiology and Health Sciences (2019) and a B.Ed. degree in Science and Physical Education (2021). She captained York University’s Women’s Soccer Team where she was a USPORT Academic All-Canadian, OUA First-Team All-Star and an OUA Gold Medalist. Two documentary films were created on highlighting the incredibly dangerous and heroic evacuation mission Muhtaj lead of the Afghan Youth Women’s National Team players from Afghanistan to Portugal. The film "Ayenda" by MSNBC was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2023 and the film "We are Ayenda" by WhatsApp is available on Amazon Prime.

Speech Topics

Leadership in times of crisis

Life is extremely unpredictable. Our communities, nations, and world can change in a split moment. Regardless of what circumstances you or your team are placed in, your actions and immediate steps will dictate your ability to find a solution and thrive. Through times of crisis, we are pushed out of our comfort zones, and only then become aware of our untapped potential and capabilities.

Attendees will feel inspired by Farkhunda Muhtaj’s journey of evacuating over 300+ Afghans including the Afghan Youth National Team from Afghanistan when the Taliban took control of the country in 2021. At the age of 23, Muhtaj was able to plan a whole escape from her home in Toronto at the time. Muhtaj’s life journey will give you the courage to take action to achieve the impossible.

Power of Sport

Sport is one of the most powerful mechanisms to achieve social cohesion and break down oppressive barriers. It unites people like nothing else. Sports transformational power can give people hope, a platform to express themselves, an opportunity to showcase their vibrant culture and values, and most importantly build bridges between communities.

Attendee results:

  • Learn how sport can tackle some of the biggest global issues such as war, forced displacement, racism, and climate change among many others.
  • Understand why representation matters and how to truly make sport a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive place for everyone.
  • Develop a sport strategy that will benefit the culture of your sport team or organization.

Global active citizenship and Social Justice

Humanity stretches far beyond our geographic locations and boundaries. We are all responsible for the change we want to see in the world, and it starts by each and every one of us using our platform, skills and resources to help solve global issues. Refugee, displacement, humanitarian relief, and social inequalities can be addressed when we all collectively take part in the solution.

Finding your purpose and managing your time doing it

In the era of increased knowledge, information and materialism, our brains are more stimulated than ever. We’re flooded with more advice, methodologies, and ways of attaining our goals yet almost never find the time to be able to attain them.

We are more confused and consumed than ever. Muhtaj helps you discover your full potential and how you can achieve all your unique goals simultaneously. As a full-time professional footballer, social activist, business owner, director and ambassador of multiple global organizations and brands, Muhtaj will help you organize your life so that you can extract more purpose without jeopardizing any of your commitments.

Related Speakers View all

More like Farkhunda