Sami Mahdi is the Kabul Bureau Chief of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Afghan Service, locally known as Radio Azadi. Previously, he was the Director of the PAYK Investigative Journalism Center, a former strategic advisor to Tolonews, C.E.O. of Khurshid TV, and the Director of News and Current Affairs at Afghanistan’s 1TV. He has reported groundbreaking stories, conducted exclusive interviews with policymakers and leaders, and hosted popular talk shows on Afghanistan’s security, political, economic, and social issues. In 2012, Mr. Mahdi was awarded the prestigious Knight International Journalism Award from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) for his excellent and courageous reporting. Mr. Mahdi holds a BA from the School of Law and Political Science of Kabul University and a MA in International Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, as a Fulbright Scholar.
Rehela Sidiqi is the founder and Director of the Farkhunda Trust for Afghan women’s education. She is also the co-founder and strategic member of the Afghan Women’s Network. She has served with different international organizations since 1993. She has a master’s degree in Social Development and Sustainable Livelihoods, International Rural Development Department (IRDD), Faculty of Agriculture, University of Reading, United Kingdom.