Gaisu Yari
Charlottesville, Va


University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Va
Fall 2011- Present
Major: Middle East and Women’s Studies
Expected Graduation: May 2015
GPA: 3.7

Middle East Institute
Washington, DC
May 2014
Intensive 9 day UVa research course – Americans in the Middle East: Why do they hate us? – utilizing the National Archives, Library of Congress, and think tank resources, and attending lectures by Arab activists, diplomats, and journalists, and U.S. and Israeli international relations specialists.

Piedmont Virginia Community College
Charlottesville, Va
Summer 2011 – Spring 2013

Additional training was provided at George Washington University (2007), with funds from the U.S. Provincial Reconstruction Team, upon being selected by the PRT as one of two Afghani women to attend a twenty day training on democratization and the U.S. constitution; and in Kabul, Afghanistan through a journalism program offered by the international non-profit Internews (2004).

In the ex-conflictive zone of Sangimasha, in Jaghori District, part of Ghazni Province.

Work Experience

Future Generation
Non-profit contributing to development through vocational institutes, literacy and with its partners Internews and the United States Agency for International Development, to providing a radio news station in a building previously occupied by the Taliban to imprison and torture locals.

Spring 2002 – Winter 2004: Instructor, literacy classes for adult women.

Spring 2004 – Winter 2005: Librarian Assistant at the Jaghori Public Library, organizing books and providing leadership and other support to students organizing literacy public events.

March 2004 – July 2007: News Broadcaster at Radio Jaghori, preparing or editing and reading local, national and international news; hosting the daily “Live Q and A” and weekly live poetry programs; and controlling and providing technical support for the sound system.

Volunteer Work

2004: Voter Participation Advocacy for the Massaouda Jalal campaign, motivating community residents and especially women to vote and for the only female candidate who is from a different ethnic background than those living in Jaghori.

2006: Voter Participation Awareness in the Sangimasha community, mobilized by a group in support of the woman principle of a local school to support her candidacy and promote awareness about parliamentary elections.


Work Experience

Fall 2014 and Spring 2015: University of Virginia‘s Shea House
Charlottesville, Va
Adrienne Resha, Programs Facilitator,

Language Assistant for the Persian Language Cohort
The Shea House is the cultural and linguistic center at UVa for Italian and the six most widely spoken languages of Asia and the Middle East. I am responsible for ensuring that students studying Persian have many and diverse opportunities to practice. In addition to monitoring their Persian over dinner four nights a week, I will be organizing and facilitating a weekly, hour-long Persian conversation group, culture-specific events , and film screenings and trips, as well as participating in the house-wide activities for all residents.

June 24, 2014: 8am Newspaper
Kabul, Afghanistan

I was asked by this Afghan Dari publication to prepare an article about the Afghanistan election which appears at

October 2013: International Women’s Media Foundation
Washington, D.C.
Alana Barton, Program Manager:

Via Skype, interviewed Afghan journalist Najiba Ayubi, winner of IWMF’s 2013 Courage in Journalism Award. The interview was conducted in Dari, translated into English and sent to IWMF which adapted its contents into the article published at

June – August 2013: Feminist Majority Foundation
Arlington, Va
Kari Ross, Assistant to the President:

Promoting awareness and action on the issue of forced marriage in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Afghanistan through lobbying congressional offices and representing the FMF at related conferences and other events. Identified and translated (from Dari to English) articles and other information on the
foundation’s Afghan webpage at Wrote two articles published by the FMF at

2012 – 2013: The Forum
Piedmont Virginia Community College newspaper
Charlottesville, Va

List of publications available upon request.

2009 – June 2013: Starbucks
Springfield and Charlottesville, Va

Shift Supervisor
A source of income to support my studies and initially, to learn and practice English and U.S. culture.


A partial list of presentations I have been asked to provide, including participations as a panelist, is available in the section Presentations of this website. Some talks have been sponsored by international organizations; others have been organized by groups affiliated with the University of Virginia.

Volunteer Work

March 2014 to present: Afghan Cross Border Youth Initiative
I began and coordinate this educational project using Skype to connect young men and women in Afghanistan with their peers in the U.S. and elsewhere to share knowledge and perspectives for a better Afghanistan.

2012: Starbucks Community Outreach Program
Participating in a partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help construct a dwelling.

2010: Tutoring Persian to military officer in Springfield and Charlottesville, Virginia who was awaiting deployment.

2010: Women to Women International Letters of Hope Campaign
Exchanging letters with women in Afghanistan and Africa who have suffered war and gender discrimination.

2008-2009: Lutheran Community Services, Worcester, Massachusetts
Organizing student files and helping refugee students with homework assignments.

Articles Written About Me

December 1, 2013: Engaged at age 6
Cavalier Daily, University of Virginia Newspaper
Charlottesville, Va

Radio Interview on WTJU’s Soundboard Program

December 10, 2013: The University of Virginia radio station 91.1 FM invited me to an interview about my life in Afghanistan and my aspirations for the future.

November 2013: Finalist Contestant
Among the more than 50 applicants, I was one of twelve selected as a finalist in the Student Speaker Competition for the February 2014 TEDxUVa, which required me to provide a talk at a public venue about my Afghan experiences as a survivor of forced marriage and aspiring journalist. I was not selected as the student speaker for the 2014 event.


I have been asked by international organizations and colleges to publish specific articles which may be found on this website.


Competencies: strong organizational and management skills and detail oriented; excellent communication and interpersonal skills in fast-pace environments with an emphasis on internal and external customer satisfaction; being an effective team player; advocacy; and a demonstrated aptitude for timely investigative journalism.

Immigration Status: I have a Green Card and in September 2014 was eligible and applied for U.S. citizenship. I hope to take the U.S. citizenship exam in 2015.

Languages: English, Dari (old Persian, closer to Arabic) and Farsi (Persian)


References not cited above will be provided upon request.

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