My love for Afghanistan began when I was 13 years old when I first read an article titled ‘Strangers to Freedom’, an account of a young Afghan girl and her clandestine attendance at an underground school during the Taliban regime. I was very very moved by this piece. I sponsored an Afghan child and her family whom I started a relationship with. We would write to each other. She would send me many of her drawings.
When I was 17 years old, I journeyed alone to Afghanistan to see her. This was also the beginning of a decade-long relationship with the country and life-long quest for knowledge, in a struggle to redefine, reinterpret the legal rights of women.
Through several scholarships, I fulfilled my dream to study human rights law in the United Kingdom where SAHR was subsequently founded. Afghanistan became an annual destination over summer school holidays.........
It was in Afghanistan that I saw the urgency for human rights work. But unlike where I come from, Singapore, there were few materials equipping lawyers to defend human rights. At the appeal of an Afghan lawyer, I established SAHR.
I remember back when it was an organization of just three law students. Today, 8 years later, we have grown to become an international endeavor.
We have set up Chapters in New York, India, Singapore, Afghanistan and London bringing together some of the most dynamic and bold young lawyers and activists, many who have been with SAHR for over 5 years. These are women who I have known since I was in my teens and early twenties. They have created this organisation with me, defining its philosophies and unique approach to human rights work.
We have all grown up in the light of SAHR's work.
SAHR is today my gift to them.