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Farah Ahmedi to share message of hope at Saint Xavier University

Teen author won ABC’s Good Morning America contest to write best-seller

Chicago (Jan. 10, 2007) – Teen author Farah Ahmedi will share her inspiring story of faith in the midst of catastrophic hardship at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, in the Butler Reception Room of Saint Xavier University’s Warde Academic Center, 3700 W. 103rd St., Chicago. Ahmedi is the author of the memoir The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky, published by Simon & Schuster Inc.  

In 2005, Ahmedi entered a writing contest sponsored by ABC’s Good Morning America and Simon & Schuster Inc. to find the most compelling life story. She was 17 at the time. Her story of growing up in war-torn Afghanistan was chosen from more than 6,000 entries. 

The memoir recounts Ahmedi’s tumultuous life from her childhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, to her eventual journey to the United States. At age 7, her life changed forever when she stepped on a landmine on the way to school. After more than two years of hospitalization and medical treatments in Afghanistan and then Germany, doctors were forced to amputate one of her legs and fuse the other. After she returned home, tragedy struck again in 1996 when she lost her father and sisters to a rocket attack during factional fighting.  

Ahmedi and her mother later escaped through the rugged mountains of Afghanistan to a refugee camp in Pakistan. After four years in Pakistan, they were rescued by the World Relief organization and brought to the United States. They now live in a Chicago suburb.

Ahmedi is the winner of the 2005 Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Paul and Heather Mills McCartney. She is the founder of Farah’s Wings of Hope, a nonprofit foundation that helps amputees with special needs. In March 2006, Teen People magazine named Ahmedi as one of “20 Teens Who Will Change the World.” She is currently at work on her second book. 

For more information about Ahmedi’s appearance at Saint Xavier, contact Reza Varjavand at (773) 298-3626 or varjavand@sxu.edu. Anyone interested in learning more about Ahmedi can visit her Web site at www.farahsworld.com. 

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Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University was the first Mercy college in the United States and is Chicago’s oldest Catholic university. Serving approximately 5,700 students at its campuses in Chicago, Orland Park and its downtown location, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors; more than 40 graduate program options in arts and sciences, business, education and nursing; and a variety of program options in continuing and professional studies. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News and World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the Best Colleges in the Midwest.