Nadjet Bouda, at the age of 23, is already a well-known human rights activist. She is currently working with SOS Disparus, an organization that advocates on behalf of the hundreds of Algerians who have “disappeared” as a result of Algeria’s ongoing civil war. When she was 16, Ms. Bouda joined Rally for Youth Action, an NGO that develops and implements civic education and human rights awareness programs with and for Algerian youth; by the age of 20 she was acting as the organization’s President and spokeswoman. Her activism reflects the importance of youth in the effort to spread democratic values throughout the Muslim world.
Mehrangiz Kar is a prominent Iranian attorney, writer, and activist who has been working to promote democracy, rule of law, and human rights within the framework of Islamic law in Iran since the revolution of 1979. In her speeches and writings, she has criticized discrimination against women and non-Muslims in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In April 2000, following her participation in a symposium in Berlin, she was arrested and imprisoned on charges of acting against national security interests. Last fall, she was released on bail and allowed to go abroad to seek medical treatment in the West. Ms. Kar is the wife of Mr. Siamak Pourzand, a well-known journalist, who is currently unjustly imprisoned in Tehran. Concerned for his health and safety, human rights organizations are seeking his immediate release.
Mariam Hussein Mohamed is Founder and Co-Chairperson of Somalia’s leading human rights group, the Dr. Ismail Jumale Human Rights Organization (DIJHRO). Her group impartially monitors human rights conditions, documents violations committed by all groups in Somalia, and has also conducted numerous human rights campaigns and training activities. Mrs. Mohamed is also the co-founder of the Peace and Human Rights Network (PHRN), an umbrella group of twenty-four prominent Somali civil society organizations across the country. Living with her daughter in the most devastated area of Mogadishu, Mrs. Mohamed continues her work under constant threat in the midst of a dangerous armed conflict, and within a sharply divided society.
Muborak Tashpulatova is Director of the Tashkent Public Education Center (TPEC). The Center, which was founded by a group of Uzbek educators, has produced textbooks on civic education, handbooks for teaching human rights, and has conducted “town hall” style civic forums for parents, youth, and government. Its 9th grade textbook on Uzbekistan’s constitution has been adopted for use in all high schools in the country. TPEC organizes seminars on civic education and related teaching methodologies in which over 1,000 educators have participated.