Azizullah Royesh

Azizullah Royesh

Civic Education Teacher, Board Member, Scholarship Counselor
Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization - Marefat High School
Linda Vester Yale World Fellow

Aziz, a leading advocate for equal access to primary and secondary education in Afghanistan, founded a school for Afghan refugees in Pakistan in 1994. With a focus on critical thinking and human rights, the school flourished and eventually moved to Afghanistan in 2002, where it now teaches more than 3500 Afghan students, about half of whom are girls. Aziz has written textbooks on humanism, human rights, democracy, social studies, and Quranic interpretation and is a frequent speaker on the concept of a tolerant community. Marefat High School has become a highly respected and well-known model for a new approach to community building in Afghanistan. Aziz and his colleagues established the Marefat Civil Capacity Building Organization (MCCBO) which is working to strengthen and expand democracy and civil norms of life. Marefat is accredited by the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economics and Ministry of Finance as a tax-exempt non-profit NGO. It was recognized as the “Best Private School of 2014 and 2016” by the Ministry of Education. As a 2011-2012 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Aziz worked on his memoirs - featuring three decades of change and developments in Afghanistan after the Communist Coup in 1979 in a 550-page, best-selling book titled “Let Me Breathe.”  In 2014, Aziz participated in the Global Teacher Prize contest through UK-based Varkey Foundation and acquired the position of Top 10. He was accredited as the “Afghanistan Hero of Education” in EU calendar of 2016 and won the membership of the International Association for College Admission Counseling in 2017.

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