Habiba Sarobi

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Habiba Sarobi
Habiba Sarabi in April 2011.jpg
Habiba Sarobi as Governor of Bamyan in April 2011
Governor of Bamyan Province
In office
23 March 2005 – 14 October 2013
Preceded by Mohammad Rahim Aliyar
Succeeded by Ghulam Ali Wahdat
2nd Minister of Women's Affairs
In office
July 2002 – December 2004
Preceded by Sima Samar
Succeeded by Massouda Jalal
Personal details
Born 1956
Ghazni Province, Afghanistan
Political party Truth and Justice
Children 3
Father Abdul Hamid

Dr. Habiba Sarobi (Persian: حبیبه سرابی‎‎) (born 1956) is a hematologist, politician, and reformer of the post-Taliban reconstruction of Afghanistan. In 2005, she was appointed as Governor of Bamyan Province by President Hamid Karzai, which made her the first Afghan woman to become a governor of any province in the country. She previously served as Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs as well as Minister of Culture and Education.[dead link] Sarobi has been instrumental in promoting women's rights and representation and environment issues. She belongs to the ethnic Hazara people of Afghanistan. Her last name is sometimes spelled Sarabi or Sarubi.

Sarobi was born in Sorab, Ghazni Province[1] and spent her youth traveling around the country with her father. She later moved to Kabul to attend high school and study medicine at university. After graduating in 1987, she was awarded a fellowship by the World Health Organization and moved to India to complete her studies in hematology.[citation needed]

During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Dr. Sarobi and her children fled to Peshawar, Pakistan, but returned frequently in secret. Her husband stayed behind in Kabul to care for his family. She also worked underground as a teacher for girls, both secretly in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in Pakistan for Afghan refugees. In 1998, she joined the Afghan Institute of Learning[dead link] and eventually became the General Manager of the entire organization. She was also the Vice President of Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan.[dead link][citation needed]

As governor, Sarobi has announced one of her focuses will be on tourism as a source of income. The province has historically been a source of Buddhist culture and was the location of the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the two ancient statues destroyed by the Taliban prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. However, Bamiyan remains one of the poorest and most under-developed provinces of Afghanistan, with a litany of problems including high rates of illiteracy and poverty.[citation needed]

In 2008 Time magazine included her in its list of Heroes of the Environment (2008), partly for her work in establishing the Band-e Amir National Park of Afghanistan in Bamiyan.[2] In 2013, she won the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ W. Adamec, Ludwig (2012). Historical Dictionary of Afghanistan. Scarecrow Press. p. 399. ISBN 9780810878150. 
  2. ^ Time Magazine October 6th 2008. See Time Magazine web page Archived August 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mohammad Rahim Aliyar
Governor of Bamyan, Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sima Samar
 title=Minister of Women's Affairs, Afghanistan
Succeeded by
Massouda Jalal