We all know the story of the single starfish chosen from amongst thousands on the beach to be saved. This is the story of Razia Hosseiny, one such starfish. Her story begins in January, 2012. But, we will start a little earlier than that to set the stage...



Razia Hosseiny- A Star Fish


 There was a time when Dr. Asmat Naebkhil was a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918). Asmat decided to return to Kabul, Afghanistan to set up a Heart Clinic. He was aided in this effort by the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918), and by Rotarian Jim Moore in particular. With the support of many in our community, in our Rotary Club, World Medical Relief, and USAID, Dr. Naebkhil succeeded in the creation of the Kabul Medical University Cardiac Research Centre. Asmat left Windsor (1918) to stay in Afghanistan and dedicate himself to the Clinic, which now sees patients from all 24 provinces and provides services free of charge. In 2010, Jim and his wife Dianne moved to Toronto and joined the Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill. Jim and Dianne were so active and influential in our club that our “Rotarian of the Year” award is called the “Jim and Dianne Moore Award”. 

Now that you know some of the players, let’s go back to January, 2012. Asmat met a woman at his clinic with severe heart problems, but her concern was not for herself so much as her daughter, Razia. Asmat had met Razia on an earlier occasion when she accompanied her mother to the cardiac centre. Razia was the best student in her village and won a scholarship to study computer science at Mongolia International University in Ulan Bator. She had received two years of support, but now the university required that she pay her own way. Asmat’s concern was that if she returned to her Taliban controlled village she would be in danger since she is a woman that has travelled outside her country for education. Razia's uncle was also searching for her in hopes to bring her back to Afghanistan, where he intended to sell her off to an older man for marriage. All Razia wanted to do was continue her education to make a better life for her mother and younger sister who were still stuck in Afghanistan. 

The Rotary Club of Toronto-Forest Hill and the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) partnered to help Razia. Through private donations from many individuals as well as from our Rotary Clubs, we helped keep Razia in School, paying her tuition and living expenses, until the completion of her Bachelor of Computer Science degree in June 2014. For her part, Razia continued to get good grades in her courses and kept us informed of her progress. Razia received a visa to enter the USA this fall and is now living in Woodbridge, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC, where she is seeking work and hoping to resume her studies.


We are so proud of Razia, our special starfish, and her accomplishments. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.