Our Team

A diverse group of individuals who bring unique talents and perspectives to NADOE.


Lailuma Sadid

President

Lailuma is a Brussels-based Afghan journalist, who has worked for different media inside and outside Afghanistan for more than 13 years. She is the only accredited journalist from Afghanistan in the European Union and NATO and is currently a Senior Correspondent for the Brussels Morning Newspaper. She was a political journalist in her home country between 2002 and 2007, working for Pajhwok news agency and for IWPR, when she covered the conflicts of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, despite the direct and life-threatening risks that she faced due to her profession. She also worked as a social media manager at Kaszer Network.

Next to her career as a journalist, she is a women’s and immigrants’ rights activist in Afghanistan and abroad. Her dedication was noticed, as she was the winner of the award of the International Women’s Leadership Forum in the European Union in 2020. She aims at continuing her work on Afghan women with NADOE.

Lailuma also worked for the ministry of foreign affairs in Afghanistan and for the Afghanistan Embassy in Belgium as a liaison officer for NATO for one mandate. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kabul University. 


Ahmad Wali Ahmad Yar

Secretary-General

Ahmad Wali Ahmad-Yar is a Ph.D. researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) with the Interface Demography (ID) research group. He is currently working on the Horizon 2020 project ‘Enhanced Migration Measures from A Multidimensional Perspective’ (HumMingBird) and his research focuses on international migration statistics, particularly on gaps in international migration data.  

Previously, he worked at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) on the integration of migrants, EU policies on migration, and migrant integration policies at the local level. Ahmad Wali has also worked as an interpreter for the UNHCR in Central Asia and as a Public Relations Officer for the Ariana Social Centre, an NGO working for the improvement of the living conditions of the Afghan diaspora in Kazakhstan. 

He supports the UNHCR in Belgium as a facilitator for establishing a community-based “Refugee Committees” project for refugees and he has been working as a volunteer interpreter with the Red Cross Flanders in Belgium. He is originally from Afghanistan and has a keen personal interest in the history and current affairs of South-Central Asia.

Ahmad Wali holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and a bachelor’s in International Relations from the al Farabi Kazakh National University.


Morgane Jourdain

Treasurer and Network Coordinator for Central Europe 

Morgane Jourdain is a linguist, working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zürich (UZH) in Switzerland with the Language, Acquisition, Diversity lab from the Department of Comparative Language Science. She is a specialist in language acquisition, both by children and adults, and investigates the way children and adults structure their speech, in their native and foreign languages. 

Morgane also investigates third-country nationals’ acquisition of the language of their host country. She is particularly interested in the specific challenges that this population faces, both at the linguistic level (i.e., difficulties due to major differences between their native and target language or issues related to literacy) and sociological level in their language learning journey.

She has a keen interest in culture and language preservation among the Afghan diasporas. She is really interested in projects related to helping second or later generations of Afghans in Europe preserve their language and related to culture promotion. She is passionate about the Afghan culture and has learned to speak Persian.

Morgane holds a Ph.D. in French linguistics from KU Leuven (Belgium) and the University of Lille (France), a Master’s degree in English linguistics from the University of Lille, a Bachelor’s degree in English, and a Bachelor’s degree in Japanese from the University of Lille. 


Shagofah Ghafori

Head of Project Development and Network Coordinator for Southern Europe

Shagofah is a Project Development Assistant at CEPS. She assists with the development and maintenance of CEPS databases of projects, partners, funders, skills, and experts and supports in identifying and exchanging with potential partners. She contributes to the preparation of competitive tender and grant proposals and monitors funding sources (European institutions, Foundations, national and regional governments, intra alia). She coordinates the CEPS Sustainable Diversity Goals project, which promotes diversity and gender equality within CEPS.

Before joining CEPS, Shagofah carried out an internship with the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels (VUB) as part of the EU-funded H2020 project “HumMingBird”, where she conducted macro and micro policy analysis for foreign and migration policies of the EU and humanitarian rights. Previously, she assisted international NGOs’ missions in Afghanistan in the capacities of global project coordinator, reporting coordinator, and socio-economic researcher in the context of EU, US, and CA-funded projects.

Shagofah has a strong background in building partnerships, identifying collaboration opportunities, and tendering. Thanks to her experience, she currently helps NADOE in project development. 

Shagofah has a Master’s degree in European and Global studies from Padua University. She holds an executive diploma from the Academy of Young Diplomates with a specialisation in International Organisations from the European Academy of Diplomacy in Poland. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in public administration and Policy from the Herat University of Afghanistan.


Madeline Saadeh

Project Officer and Network Coordinator for Central Europe

Madeline is currently working in international development on development projects located in the Middle East and Africa. She previously worked at the Belgian Federal Agency for the reception of asylum seekers in the reception structures responsible for the observation and orientation of unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (UMFNs) of which the majority were Afghan nationals. She furthermore worked at the UNHCR in Budapest, Hungary, and has worked on development projects in Nairobi, Kenya, and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 

From her professional experience, she has developed a profound interest and passion for Afghanistan and its citizens. Additionally, is she today an independent guardian for Afghan UMFNs in Belgium. Madeline has Syrian and Belgian origins and has been actively working to integrate migrants into the labour market and society at large while defending their fundamental human rights. 

Madeline holds an MBA in International Business Management from the KU Leuven University (Belgium). As part of her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Madeline studied abroad at Hanyang University (Seoul, South Korea) and at Corvinus University (Budapest, Hungary).


Najeem Zarabi

Project Officer and Network Coordinator for the UK

Najeem is studying Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). He is originally from Afghanistan and has been living as a first-generation refugee in Belgium since early 2016. Fluent in Persian (Dari) and English, Najeem has helped refugees in their journey by volunteering as a translator. Based on his personal experience of everyday struggles and hardships given his status, Najeem is motivated to work with and for the Afghan diaspora, using his academic toolkit and his experience managing life as an Afghan refugee in Belgium.

Afghan society is diverse. Afghans come from different ethnicities, cultures, and have different worldviews. Being an Afghan means different things for each of them – especially across diasporas, whose experiences can sometimes be worlds apart. Najeem hopes to bridge these differences and find solutions that can be specific to individual needs, in cooperation with European, national and local authorities.


Kristine Hansen

Network Coordinator for Scandinavia

Kristine is a Danish national, born and raised in Brussels. She is a specialist of migration-related topics, more precisely those concerning unaccompanied minor foreign nationals (UMFNs) migrating from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe. For 10 years she has been close to the Afghan community in Scandinavia, primarily in Denmark.

Kristine holds a Bachelor’s degree from Roskilde University in Denmark and two Masters’ degrees from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Institut des Études Européennes (‘Institute for European Studies’) in Belgium. 


Fatemah Shirzad

Network Coordinator for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries

Fatemah is studying for a Master’s degree in Management at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB). She worked as a financial manager in a charity foundation, as a master trainer for the election commission of Afghanistan, as a cashier for a microfinance bank, and as an Engineer for BCRCO company in Herat, Afghanistan. She is also a member of the Women Refugees Committee in Belgium and a project facilitator for the UNHCR in Belgium.

Fatemah holds a Master’s degree in civil engineering from the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil engineering from Herat University in Afghanistan.


Idrees Iqbal

Data Engineer and web developer

Idrees is working as a Data & Intelligence Consultant in an international consultancy firm in Brussels. Currently assigned as Business Intelligence Expert for VRT (Flemish Radio & Television), he is consulting organizations on their Data & Platform development and on the best technology practices the world has to offer.

Idrees holds a Computer Science degree from the University of Ghent, and currently studying for a Master’s degree in Data Science. Due to his refugee background and the challenges he faced during his journey he loves to support others in becoming successful in their academic and professional life.