Mahbouba Seraj

Mahbouba Seraj, born in Kabul in 1948, is the niece of Amanullah Khan, who was King of Afghanistan until 1929. In 1978, she and her husband were arrested after the communist coup. Shortly afterwards, she went into exile in the USA for over 25 years and worked for the UN. Seraj returned to Afghanistan in 2003 and co-founded the influential NGO "Afghan Women's Network". She lives and works in Kabul.

Photo: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images