Dori Samadzai Bonner

Dori Samadzai Bonner was born in Afghanistan in 1977, where she grew up under the Russian invasion.

Growing up, Dori cherished a post card her aunt sent her from America. It was a post card of kids at the beach in San Diego, CA. Ironically, the picture, which was worlds away from her own reality, became the mother of all hopes. The post card offered her a life far different from hers, and that, to her was an offering of optimism. It is justly said that, you cannot eat hope, but it certainly sustains you!

At the age of ten, Dori and her family escaped to India ultimately hoping to start their journey to the United States. After spending three years in India, life became difficult as money started to run out. Her parents had to take a leap of faith and entrust a smuggler to bring Dori and her brother to America, while her parents would have to return to Afghanistan. In December of 1991, Dori and her brother arrived at J.F.K airport speaking the only English words they knew, “We need asylum…”

Today, Dori resides in Colorado along with her husband, a Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force, and their son whom she considers her greatest joy. On 14 May 2011, Dori graduated from University of Maryland University College with a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Homeland Security. Dori’s passions include playing tennis, writing her first book titled Thank You America, caring for abandoned pets, visiting nursing homes with her therapy dog, volunteering shelters for battered women and children, and coaching the girl’s tennis team at Booker T. Washington high when she resided in Montgomery, Alabama. However, it is her love for her newfound homeland that she prides herself with above all.

Dori is a public speaker and an aspiring writer whose award-winning essay titled “Red, White, and Blue” was published in Direction, the Pierce College literary magazine in 2009. On August 31, 2010, based on a brief essay about her passion for tennis and her life struggles in Afghanistan, Dori was honored at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament’s opening night ceremony alongside tennis greats Martina Navratilova, James Blake, and Esther Verger. Dori’s story has been featured at the front cover of the Montgomery Advertiser News, Bloomberg News, the United States Tennis Association as well as UMUC’s achiever magazine for spring 2011 issue.

Dori’s story is one of struggle, perseverance, and triumph – a story she has shared at various venues nationwide.

Contact Dori at or 818-284-0895.