Shabana was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. She attended secret school during the Taliban regime, and after the fall of the Taliban she completed her secondary education at Maryam High School. In 2005, Shabana attended high school in the USA through the year-long Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program sponsored by the US State Department. Following her secondary school career, she worked as an Executive Assistant to the Country Director of American Councils for International Education in Kabul as a one year appointment. Shabana is the Executive Director of Afghan Youth Initiative. Shabana is a graduate of Middlebury College, receiving degrees in International Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Shabana is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Chellis House – Women’s Resource Center and the President’s Office at Middlebury College.