Meet our Security Consultant: Shafiqulla Zarif

Shafiqullah was born in the central Afghan province of Wardak.  At the age of four, his family moved to the capital city, Kabul where he continues to live today with his wife and nine children.  He received his university degree in English from Kabul University Literature and Language Faculty.  After completing his degree in the early 1980s he joined the Mujahideen (Muslim holy warriors) where he fought in the conflict against the Soviet Union for about a year.  He discerned that fighting was not the way he could best help his country, so like many Afghans, he left for Pakistan.

In Pakistan, he began to work with the international aid efforts to assist refugees and those affected by the war in Afghanistan.  The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) began a program with Afghanistan and Shafiqullah became a field officer coordinating the security and logistics for missions going into Afghanistan, often crossing the front lines of opposing forces.  He moved these missions safely through combat and mined areas, negotiating permission in order to assure the security of the ICRC personnel in the danger zones.  He eventually became the field officer for the most difficult and dangerous areas.

When ICRC decided to place a forward support base inside Afghanistan, Shafiqullah was asked to manage this project.  He became acting country director for ICRC when the Taliban revoked all foreign visas in Afghanistan.  During this time he managed to keep all food distributions going, even assisting other organizations who no longer had representation within the country.  His work in the international aid community continued until 2005.

In 2005, Shafiqullah began working with Great Game Travel Company.  He uses his experience and contacts, working with international security organizations as well as the Afghan government to make critical and necessary security decisions before and during our tours.