In 2021, Safi Rauf was taken captive by the Taliban while working to provide resources and assistance to Afghans in need. He was released after more than 100 days in jail and remains committed to aid work in Afghanistan and around the world.

Why you should listen

Safi Rauf is the founder of Human First Coalition (HFC), an organization dedicated to providing critically needed aid to Afghanistan that's now expanding into other regions around the world. In December 2021, after working to provide urgently needed food, medical care and resettlement services to Afghans, he was unlawfully detained and held by the Taliban for 105 days. He was released in early April 2022 after negotiations between the Biden administration and Taliban captors.

An Afghan refugee himself, Rauf immigrated to the US as a teenager, graduated from high school in Omaha, Nebraska, and deployed to Afghanistan for four years as a linguist and cultural advisor embedded with US Special Operations Forces. He later graduated as a Tillman Scholar from Georgetown University and enlisted in the US Navy Reserves. He founded HFC to help Afghans struggling in the wake of the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country.

Safi Rauf’s TED talk

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Live from TED2022

Vision: Notes from Session 5 of TED2022

April 12, 2022

In a classically wide-ranging Session 5 of TED2022, six speakers shared their vision for the future — from building the world’s most powerful telescope to the next generation of the creator economy to finding ways to bridge divides and create peace through unlikely collaborations. The event: Talks from TED2022, Session 5: Vision, hosted by TED’s […]

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