Mariam was born in Afghanistan to a family that values the power of education and thoughtful inquiry about the structures of their society. She left her birthplace at the age of 7 as a result of Taliban, and grew up in Pakistan, where she was quite an active child who played cricket and climbed from trees to the street lights. She returned to her home, Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban to help in its development.
Upon returning to Afghanistan, she studied Educational Psychology in Kabul University. Passionate about cricket, Mariam was driven by a desire to provide poor children of Afghanistan a space where they can have fun and particpate in the benefits of sport. She later joined Skateistan, an innovative Afghan based NGO, which uses sports and education to unite and empower youth. Through her work, Mariam is able to assist in the goal of empowering street children and specifically women in Afghanistan through her leadership.
In September 2012, four of Skateistan’s talented students and her young colleagues were killed in a suicide bomb carried by a teenager in Kabul. This incident gave Mariam a drive to change the economic situation for street children in Afghanistan so they have other outlets for action. Her focus has tightened to provide access to education for youth through the creation of a vocational training for the street working children in Afghanistan.