Visiting Scholar, Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies
Husnia Hazara is a visiting scholar from Afghanistan. She holds a master's degree in urban planning and a bachelor's degree in urban development from Imam Khomeini International University, Iran. Before the August 2021 collapse of the government in Afghanistan, she served as dean of the faculty of basic sciences, engineering and technology at Payam Noor University (PNU) in Kabul.
Hazara also worked in the quality assurance department and teaching master's degree as professor at PNU. For several years, she worked as a coordinator (Destarkhan Meli Project); site engineer (GEO Built Construction Company); child supporter and social facilitator specialist (DRC); and manager (Esteghlal Educational Institutions) with International, national, government and private sectors in Afghanistan and Iran. In addition, she did volunteer work supporting children's and women's rights, an area of interest for her.
After the crisis in Afghanistan, Hazara corresponded with many bodies and organizations on her options. Finally, with the cooperation of Fatemeh Shams, she was connected with the University of Oklahoma. After obtaining a humanitarian visa from Mexico, she was able to go to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and get a U.S. visa. She arrived in the U.S with her family on March 13, 2022. Dean Scott Fritzen, Marjan Seirafi-Pour and Joshua Landis of the Farzaneh Family Center, and Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh worked together to coordinate her visiting scholar position, which was made possible by a generous donation from the Farzaneh family.
After arriving to OU Campus, Hazara began taking English language courses at the Center for English as a Second Language, and during the summer she taught Persian as teacher's assistant. Hazara also celebrated a personal milestone on May 11, when she gave birth to her daughter in Norman. She says, "It was a great gift from my God!"
For the fall 2022 semester, Hazara has a full-time English class at CESL, and she will teach Persian language as assistant professor (supporting Marjan Seirafi-Pour). She also plans to conduct research on urban planning issues with John Harris in the Gibbs College of Architecture Regional and City Planning program.
From Husnia: "I’m so glad to be at OU in Norman as an academic city. It is a peaceful and lovely place for living and working with great people and professionals from all over the world! In the end, I would like to sincerely thank all the people who cooperated with me and my family in this long trip from Kabul to reach Norman."