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From Mastuj to Germany: the success story of a Chitrali girl

During the last decades, Chitral has undergone a remarkable transformation. The holistic approach to development pioneered in the mountainous region by the Aga Khan Development Network has lifted the inhabitants of the remote valleys out of extreme poverty.

Despite the remoteness and inaccessibility, Chitral is now proud to be one of the most educated districts in the country. The rapid improvements in quality of lives of mountain people in the Hindukush is largely due to the hardworking men and women whose emphasis on education is bearing fruits and helping the region to produce individuals who excel in diverse range of disciplines.

Zahida Bano, daughter of Faiz Ibrahim, is one such example of hardworking mountain women. Her journey from high mountains of Hindukush to Düsseldorf, Germany, is both a fascinating story of personal struggle as well as an inspiration to young girls in Chitral keen on studying natural science.

Hailing from Toq in Mastuj, Zahida Bano is seventh among nine siblings. She studied her primary education at the Aga Khan School Mastuj and secondary school certificate at the Government High School Mastuj.

As there was no higher secondary school in Mastuj region at that time, she moved to the Chitral city and did her FSc and bachelor at the Chitral College for Girls. She moved to Islamabad to pursue her master in biology from Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad and obtained her master’s with excellent grades.

Later, she moved to Germany to join her spouse Ramzan Ali, a PhD candidate in Mathematics at TU-Dortmund. Ali is from Shamaran, Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan. Zahida is fluent in German and recently finished her MS in Molecular Biology from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf.

Her outstanding academic performance during MS has won her a PhD fellowship in the same university starting from October 1, 2015.

Her research focuses on understanding changes at molecular level in crops such as rice and sorghum to increase crop yield through genetically modified plants. Emphasizing on the importance of her research for Pakistan, Zahida said enhancing crop yield is critical to meet the demand of rising global population especially considering that expansion of land for agriculture has reach optimal limits.

The challenge is to address feed a growing population through improved farming practices informed by latest scientific research. 

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  1. Sher Wali Khan Aseer says

    Heartfelt congrats to Zahida beti, her spouse and parents.Keep it up.

  2. Muhammad Aslam Shah says

    Proud of you Dr. Ramazan and Mrs Ramazan. Dr. sb is from my village. I know him from his early age when he was a college student. He used to be involved in intellectual discussion whenever met. He has been a source of inspiration for his siblings therefore all his brother and sisters has been out standing in their academic career. His family has been an ideal family in the education of children. All these achievements goes to Dr. Ramazan. Thumbs up Dr. keep it up.

  3. safdar ali says


  4. anwar says

    Congratulations dear sister

  5. Minhaj Ali Lodhi says

    Congratulations dear sis 🙂
    wish you continued success.

  6. Bahar Ali Rizakhail says

    Well done zahida and congrats for such a brilliant success!!!

  7. Muhammad Sohail says

    That’s awesome. A lot of appreciation from my side. The coming generation must be benefited from your education mam.

    1. shabana amir says

      congrats my dear friend i m proud of u.wish u good luck in future..

  8. Faiz Bahader says

    Big congratulation Zahida sis
    you deserve more than that
    proud of you. 🙂

  9. Nusrat Shaheen says

    Xahida Bano kai you look beautiful heart emoticon congratulations to both of you.

    1. SHAFQAT ALI says

      I am very very happy for you my sister Zahida Bano. You are the real example for all talented girls especially in the backward areas of Pakistan. You have proved that talent cannot be hide. Proud of you and many congratulations to my dear friend Ramzan Ali.
      Wish you all the best. Stay blessed and be happy.

  10. Rehmat Aziz Chitrali says

    I salute you

  11. sher zaman says

    Its really Good news for all of us congratulation and we are praud of U may AllAh give you long live both of you.

  12. Areesha says

    Congrats fruits of hard work resolutions.

  13. Farman Bhai says

    Masha Allah .Many congratulation sis

  14. Shamim Shahi says

    Dear Xahida Bano Congratulations to you and Ramzan bhae. Wish you great luck and you deserve more than that.

  15. Mahru Malik says

    congrtzzzzzz smile emoticon

  16. Nayab Amir Nayab says

    Ramzan Ali Dr. Sab can i predict?

  17. Jan Ihsan Ullah says

    Many Congratulations!!

  18. Hamida Mudassar says

    Many congratulations zahida for your success and finger crossed for starting of ur PhD

  19. Shamsur Rahman Shaz says

    Congratulations! for your success.

  20. Nadir Zaman Khan says

    wonderful, proud of you and wish you more successes

  21. Shahid khan says

    How wonderful to hear about yet another hard working Chitrali . Wishing her well in life.

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