Our Team

Family Assisters


Sara Quaraishi

Program Data Analyst

I am Sara Quraishi, I currently reside in Minnesota. I am a Certified Associate in project management and work at Afghan Cultural Society as the assister team lead. I work with Afghan arrivals assisting them in their needs by referring them to other organizations to connect them to the right resources. My goal is to be better than I was yesterday. On weekends I like to dine out with
my family.

Contact: sara@afghanculturalsociety.org


Naser Mohammadi

Assister

I would call ACS “THE WELCOME CENTER”! I decided to work at ACS because I wanted to serve my Afghan friends. While I was living in Afghanistan I worked for 2 decades in project management and in the non-profit sector, and continue that work here in Minnesota. I act as a guide to Afghan arrivals – someone who shares the language and culture as well as knowledge of the systems in a new country. I joined ACS for the friendly environment – we are like a family without any boss.

Contact:
naser@afghanculturalsociety.org


Healthcare Navigator


Atefa Tavasoli

Lead Healthcare Navigator

My name is Atefa Tavasoli and I am a medical graduate from Afghanistan. I like taking responsibilities that look difficult to others and that’s why I decided to help our Afghan refugees as a healthcare navigator to find their way in US health care situation. I am a passionate team member, a potential planner, and always open to new adventures.

Contact:
atefa@afghanculturalsociety.org

Education Coaching


Mushtaq Wahidy

Program Manager – Social Services

My name is Mushtaq Wahidy, and I am excited to be a part of ACS as a family coach. I believe in the power of education and how crucial it is to navigate the school system in the US, which is why I chose to join this wonderful organization.
I studied Biology at Gustavus Adolphus college. Having completed my schooling here in the US, I understand the challenges and opportunities that come with it, and I am eager to use my experiences to help Afghan students reach their full potential and receive a quality education. Outside of my work, I volunteer to teach English to girls in Afghanistan. At the same time, I enjoy playing soccer and newly trying to learn tennis. 

Contact: mushtaq@afghanculturalsociety.org


Waleed Wahedi

Coaching Team

What brought me to ACS was the welcoming environment and the opportunity to help support the new Afghan community. I like to motivate people to help them reach their dreams and goals. I enjoy going on hikes, working out, and playing basketball.

Contact: waleed@afghanculturalsociety.org

Mental Health Programs


Zahra Wahidy

Women’s Mental Health Lead

I have my bachelor’s degree in educational psychology. I worked as a research assistant and reporter with non-profit organization back in Afghanistan. Now I am working at Afghan Cultural Society as Women Mental Health Lead. I joined ACS in December 2022 to facilitate the Afghan Women’s Circle program. It is a pleasure to help the Afghan community in resettling with their life in the US. I like to learn new things and make new friends.

Contact: zahra@afghanculturalsociety.org


Wahidullah Noorzad

Men’s Mental Health Lead

My name is Wahidullah Noorzad, I was born in Afghanistan and graduated from Kabul University with a degree in law and political science. I have a master’s degree in criminal law and worked with President Hamed Karzai Ashraf Ghani during his term. Today, I work with arriving Afghan community members at ACS. I enjoy working at ACS because it’s like a family and it’s important to me to support my people. In my spare time, I enjoy playing soccer, chess, and snooker. My message to the general public is this:
Help your fellow members of humanity without reservation or prejudice!

Contact:
noorzad@afghanculturalsociety.org


Hussain Ali Haidari

Men’s Mental Health Facilitator

Hussain Ali Haidari is the reporter and editor of New Home, a weekly news service for Afghan immigrants to United States, published in Pashto and Dari. Haidari studied journalism at Kabul University and served as an executive officer for the former President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani. Before moving to the U.S., in 2021, Hussain reported and edited for Hasht-e-Subh Daily, a nonprofit independent newspaper.

Hila B

Community Engagement Specialist /
Youth Mental Health Facilitator 

Utilizing my B.S in Behavioral Neuroscience from St. Edwards University, I am a Texan who recently moved to Minneapolis to assist in ACS programming. I have a passion for helping our Afghans and worked through the emergency response for Operation Allies Welcome in New Mexico and Virginia. I ran the Wellness, Morale, and Recreation for women and children and assisted in the learning/educational program with the youth in VA. My passion for this project brought me here. I love painting as a way to de-stress and rollerblading!

Contact:
hila@afghanculturalsociety.org

Communications

Gabe Van de Water

Communications Coordinator

Gabe is a visual artist and designer living in Minneapolis. He received a BFA from California College of Arts in 2014. He has been working at ACS since spring 2023 where he manages all things comms, with a particular focus on digital communications. Gabe has also worked as a printer operator, freelance graphic designer, and as campaign staff. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening, making art, and hiking with friends.

Contact:
gabe@afghanculturalsociety.org

Administrative

Nasreen Sajady


Nasreen Sajady

Advocacy Director

Graduate of Augsburg University with a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in teaching. They worked for over a decade in microbiology and began teaching in 2019. They are the child of first-generation immigrants from Afghanistan and was born and raised in the Twin Cities. With parents trying to understand the new culture around them, they were left to figure out how to navigate two cultural identities on their own. They joined ACS in 2019 to combat the western narrative of who Afghans are and to bring the Afghan community in MN together. Their personal experiences and passion to fight against injustices drives them to continue working towards easing the transition for refugee/immigrant communities and equity for Black and Indigenous people. In their down time you can catch them traveling, dancing, being in nature and enjoying all mediums of art.

Contact: nasreen@afghanculturalsociety.org