Health magazine recently profiled Zahra Arabzada ’19 in its Real Life Strong Campaign, a series of stories about women who demonstrate strength, resilience and grace. Arabzada, who was also recently featured in Glamour magazine as one of the Top Ten College Women of the Year, spoke with Health about her experience growing up in Afghanistan, her passion for running and her lifelong goal of being an advocate for women and girls.
“Running prepares me for the mental strength I need to get an education in America while being away from my family. Wearing a scarf reminds me of who I am and back home,” Arabzada told Health magazine, during the interview that was conducted on the HWS campus.
Videographers and interviewers from Health traveled to the HWS campus to film Arabzada running through campus and Seneca Lake State Park, and to capture scenes of her daily life at the Colleges. Arabzada, a biochemistry major who plans to pursue graduate study in medicine, is featured enjoying a coffee with friends at Au Bon Pain in the Warren Hunting Smith Library and praying in her residence hall.
In 2017, Arabzada began writing a blog titled “The Hijabi Runner,” through an internship for the Centennial Center. The goal was to document her experience training for a 50-mile ultramarathon, while giving Muslim women who choose an active-lifestyle a representation of themselves online and other non-Muslims the opportunity to learn about her culture. Arabzada also became an ambassador for Free to Run, an organization that aims to empower women and girls in conflict-affected communities around the world.
Read Glamour’s profile on Arabzada here.