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Shabnam Nasimi        

Former Policy Advisor to Minister for Afghan Resettlement & Minister for Refugees, Social & Political Activist; Founder, Executive Director of the Conservative Friends of Afghanistan

Shabnam Nasimi have served as a Policy Special Advisor to the UK Minister for Afghan Resettlement (Victoria Atkins MP) and the Minister for Refugees (Lord Harrington), providing assistance to the British government in the successful evacuation and reception of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees. Between 2007 to 2019, she was involved in humanitarian aid and development projects funded by UKAid, in Kabul, Balkh and Parwan provinces of Afghanistan. Since then she has led the Afghan Witness programme, through the Centre for Information Resilience, which works to independently collect, preserve and verify information on human rights and current events in Afghanistan.

As someone with Afghan roots, she has dedicated a significant portion of her life to supporting the UK in its foreign policy approach towards Afghanistan, and other developing countries in South Asia and Central Asia. And in 2017, she established the Conservative Friends of Afghanistan to facilitate Afghan dialogue towards peace-building and human rights. In light of the Taliban's oppressive gender apartheid regime, she has spearheaded operations to evacuate Afghan female Chevening alumni, journalists, civil society members, activists, and students from the American University of Afghanistan.

As a British political and social activist, she is a regular face in British media as a political commentator. She has also written extensively for The Times, Telegraph, Prospect Magazine and others on immigration, foreign policy, integration and race/identity and provide a live-experience perspective of a former refugee living in the UK. She is an an active and passionate advocate for BAME representation and inclusion in British politics -- championing the cause for diversity in the UK and the Conservative party.

She has also co-authored a published book on Afghanistan-Pakistan relations. And is currently writing a book on Afghan women, to be published in 2024.

She was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, raised in the former Soviet Union (modern day Ukraine), lived in Afghanistan and fled Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 1999 to settle in the UK.

Speech Topics

Western Foreign Policy

When talking about Western foreign policy, I can outline the key tenants of Western foreign policy towards the developing world, such as democracy, human rights, economic stability, and unilateral action/intervention. Additionally, I can cover various controversies, such as the use of military force or the idea of responsibility to protect. I will also explain how Western foreign policy has evolved over time and the current challenges facing it.

Humanitarianism & International Development

Both areas are two topics that are intertwined. When discussing humanitarianism and international development I will consider both the short-term relief activities as well as efforts to address the underlying causes of poverty and inequality. For example, providing food and medicine to a community in crisis can produce immediate, tangible improvements, but it does not necessarily address the long-term structural issues that created the crisis in the first place or why nations become foreign aid dependant.. To truly create lasting change, a comprehensive strategy for developing a country's infrastructure, agricultural system, educational opportunities, and social safety nets must be addressed. "

Women's Rights and Gender Equality

This is one of the most pressing issues of our time. I will consider the progress that has been made in recent years and the challenges that continue to hinder complete gender equality, particularly extremist groups such as the Taliban.

Refugee: Current state of refugee affairs globally, post Ukraine Crisis and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan.

I can set out the basic infrastructure in place for a nation's refugee policy and how it affects those residing in the country as well as refugees seeking asylum. I can also discuss potential solutions to the issues surrounding refugees. It is also important to recognize the human element of refugee affairs. As a former refugee myself. I can talk about the hardships and struggles faced by those attempting to find safety and security from war-torn countries and describe the physical and emotional impact of the refugee crisis. Talk about their experiences and the courage it takes to relocate and restart a life under difficult circumstances.

Race and Identity

  1. Intersectionality
  2. Immigration and minority rights
  3. Race and mental health
  4. Systemic racism
  5. Racial justice and activism
  6. Education and economic inequality
  7. Racial microaggressions
  8. Colorism
  9. Discrimination and representation in the media and popular culture

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