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Although we are excited to have our fellows back on campus and working in Byerly Hall, Harvard Radcliffe Institute programs remain primarily virtual as we continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic. See Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates.

Fellowship / Fellows

Homeira Qaderi

  • 2021–2022
  • Fiction & Poetry
  • Independent Writer (Afghanistan)
Portrait of Homeira Qaderi
Photo courtesy of Homeira Qaderi

Homeira Qaderi is an Afghan writer, activist, and educator. She has written six books, including a collection of short stories and her acclaimed novel Noqra: The Daughter of Kabul River (Rozgar Publishers, 2009). Before leaving Afghanistan, Qaderi taught at Gharjistan University, in Kabul, and worked as a senior advisor to both the minister of education and the minister of labor, social affairs, martyrs, and the disabled.

While at Radcliffe, Qaderi is writing a novel, inspired by her own experiences, titled “The Scent of God.” The novel follows a girl from the Kabul suburbs who is kidnapped during the Soviet-Afghan war and taken to St. Petersburg. After the fall of the Soviet Union, she returns to her hometown, which is under Taliban rule. The novel follows her experiences living under the Taliban rule and through the American invasion and her eventual immigration to Smyrna, Delaware. As she recovers, she reflects on her forced nomadism with nostalgia.

Qaderi received her PhD in Persian literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, in India. She was awarded the Malalai Medal—Afghanistan’s highest civilian honor—for exceptional bravery by President Ashraf Ghani. She was a writer in residence at the University of Iowa in 2015. Her first book in English translation, Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son (Harper, 2020), was excerpted by the New York Times and chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best nonfiction books of 2020.

Our 2021–2022 Fellows

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