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Awista Ayub

Expert on Sports and Muslim Women

Expert on Sports and Muslim Women

Travels From Travels From:
Delaware, USA
Speaking Fee Speaking Fee:

Awista Ayub Biography

Awista Ayub is the founder of the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange (AYSE), an organization dedicated to nurturing Afghan girls through soccer and the author of However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls and A Journey Home (Hyperion). In 1981, when Ayub was only two years old, her family fled Afghanistan for the United States, where she flourished thanks to organized athletics - and where she vowed to make a difference in her home country some day. Soon after the fall of the Taliban, Ayub saw her chance: She founded the AYSE, an organization dedicated to nurturing, empowering, and teaching leadership to Afghan girls through soccer and sports. What began with eight young women has exploded into something of a phenomenon. Fifteen teams now compete in an organized league, with hundreds of girls participating through the Afghanistan Football Federation. Ayub has been featured in a number of national news publications and programs including ABC News - "Person of the Week", ESPN, Glamour Magazine, "Making Girls Strong Again" magazine - "Hero of the Month", CNN's American Morning, New York Daily News, Sports, "A World of Difference: Soccer a Means for Social Change from Sea to Sea", Muslim Girl Magazine, "From Dreams to Destiny", the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, and Washingtonian Magazine, "Bend it Like Ayub". A sought after speaker, she has spoken at universities around the country sharing her inspiring message of the power of sports in building confidence and self-worth in young women of all nations.

Since Afghanistan's overthrow of the conservative Taliban government, many Afghan women have experienced a rebirth - striving for equality, education, freedom, and protection in a country that is deeply embedded with remnants of a culture of silence. Women like Ayub, 29, have played a significant part of the changing role of females in Afghan society today. By bringing soccer to young Afghan women, Ayub re-introduced the very traits the Taliban had cruelly stripped away from them - confidence and self-worth - on the very fields where the Taliban carried out executions.

In However Tall the Mountain Ayub details the journey of eight young Afghan women she brought to America to learn to play soccer. Throughout the story, she intertwines accounts of the girls' lives at home in Afghanistan, including their struggles with personal freedom and the consequences of the choices they make that conflict with Afghan culture. Under Taliban rule, these young women all grew up with strict limitations on their freedoms; they were forbidden from playing outside of their homes, not to mention participating in sports teams. The AYSE exchange program taught them not only to play soccer, but also to discover self-confidence and a sense of self-worth.

After bringing the girls to the States, Ayub subsequently traveled to Afghanistan to host a clinic there and hundreds of girls turned out to participate - and the numbers of players and teams keep growing. They even play at Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, which once served as the place where the Taliban carried out executions of women who violated even the most inconsequential laws. The country is not without current struggles and women's rights are far from protected. However Tall the Mountain gives hope to women finding courage and strength in one another and in themselves and reveals the ways in which youth culture in Afghanistan is challenging traditional gender roles and transforming the role of women in the Middle East.

From February 2005 to January 2007, Ayub served as the Education and Health Officer at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC. She was responsible for fostering relationships with organizations, schools, and individuals that work with education and health issues related to Afghanistan. She also founded the North East Women's Collegiate Hockey Association, serving as the league for the greater New England women's ice hockey teams.

Ayub received her Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of Rochester in New York where she founded the Women's Ice Hockey team and played as the team goalie for three years. In addition, she was a Take Five Scholar in a tuition-free fifth year studying gender issues in science and engineering. She received her Masters in Public Administration with a focus in International Sports Development from the University of Delaware ('09).

Ayub recently traveled to Morocco for another program that offers women of the region an opportunity to participate in a similar life-changing experience.

However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and A Journey Home


The State of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan and Other Muslim Countries


Nurturing Muslim Girls Through Sports


Empowering Young Women Through Sports


U.S.-Afghanistan Relations and the Consequences of War on Young People


What It Means to be Afghan-American Post 9/11

Awista Ayub Videos

  • Awista Ayub

Awista Ayub Books

  • However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home
    However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home

FAQs on booking Awista Ayub

  • How do I book Awista Ayub to speak at my event?

    Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Awista Ayub for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Awista Ayub, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Awista Ayub or any other speaker of your choice.
  • What are the speaker fees for Awista Ayub

    Speaking fees for Awista Ayub, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Awista Ayub are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Awista Ayub, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Awista Ayub speak about?

    Awista Ayub is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Empowerment, Faith & Religion, Leadership Speakers, Motivation, Muslim Speakers, Personal Growth.
  • Where does Awista Ayub travel from?

    Awista Ayub generally travels from Delaware, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Awista Ayub’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Awista Ayub for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Awista Ayub for your next private or corporate function.
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    If you’re looking for the best, unbiased speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.

Awista Ayub is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Awista Ayub for your event is available upon request. Awista Ayub generally travels from DE, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Shirin Neshat, Erin Gruwell, Kristie Kennedy, Shiza Shahid and Nancy Nguyen Liles. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Awista Ayub for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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