By S. Ghilzai
February 3, 2016
Zohra Yusuf Daoud is known for being the first and only Miss Afghanistan. She is also an activist and television personality.
Born in 1954 in Mazar-i-Sharif, Zohra Yusuf Daoud grew up in Kabul. When it was announced that Afghan Life Magazine was holding the first Miss Afghanistan, Daoud entered the pageant. She was crowned Miss Afghanistan in December 1972, after beating over a hundred other contestants. Daoud then went on to work with local television networks, and became the host of a popular game show. She also received a degree in French Literature at Kabul University.
After the Soviet invasion in 1979, Daoud fled Afghanistan with her newly born infant, and husband, Mohammad Daoud. They arrived in the United States, where they held menial jobs, tried to learn English, and work towards getting their entire family out of Afghanistan, until finally settling in Southern California. Since the fall of the Taliban, Daoud has become an outspoken activist on the subject of women’s rights and the promotion of culture and arts in Afghanistan. Daoud has coauthored books, and spoken at conferences and summits around the world about women’s rights. She is also the founder of the Afghan Women Association of Southern California. Daoud still lives in Southern California today.