Meet our team that has spent countless hours trying to make ALF as successful as possible.


Adita Arya is the President and Co-Founder of Afghan Literacy Foundation. She holds an M.S. in Educational Leadership, and a B.S. in Biology. Adita deeply believes in the power of education as a form of liberation for individuals, so for the past 14 years she has been engaged in teaching, directing, and developing curriculum at Islamic and public schools throughout the United States. She was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and came to the US in 1981. She lives in Irvine, CA with her husband and four children.

Lila Ishaq is the Chairwoman and Co-Founder Afghan Literacy Foundation. She graduated from Kabul University with a bachelors degree in journalism. After working 3 years in educational TV programs in Afghanistan, she had to leave Kabul like many other Afghans to seek safety. She believes the only way to rebuild Afghanistan and bring peace and safety to people of Afghanistan is through education. Her passion in life is to help her turmoiled country by helping educate its new generation.

Mariam Momand is the Treasurer of Afghan Literacy Foundation. She attended Kabul University and obtained her Bachelors degree in Business Administraion from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is a member of the Muslim Women League (MWL), a group dedicated to empowering Muslim women. In June of 2002, she traveled to Kabul as a delegate of the MWL with the Global Exchange interfaith group. She visited schools, hospitals, and families who lost loved ones in the war. Mariam believes that Afghan children need access to education to combat poverty and despair.

Helga Samimi is the Vice-President of Afghan Literacy Foundation. She was born in Iran and is a pharmacist living in California with her husband and two children. She is the newest board member to ALF. She joined ALF after having adopted a 6 six year old Afghan boy who had lost his legs to an explosion in Afghanistan. She was so touched by ALF's efforts to fundraise for her adopted son, that she decided to join the board. She hopes to make a difference in the lives of other Afghan children by giving them an opportunity to improve their lives through education.