Her name is Dr. Sima Samar and unlike the criticism of the prize being given to Obama for having not yet accomplished anything, Dr. Samar does have a long list of accomplishments and many in Afghanistan felt she should have been given the prize.
P.J. Tobia,a journalist writing from inside Afghanistan describes her as "incredibly courageous" .
Dr. Samar has spent most of the last ten years treating women and young girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan at considerable risk to her own life. She is now the chairwoman of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and is the first woman to have received a medical degree from Kabul University which she obtained in 1982.
Dr. Samar fled Afghanistan during the war with the Soviet Union and returned in 2002 where she became, according to writer P.J. Tobia, Minister of Women's Affairs in the interim Karzai government.
Dr. Samar prominently and publicly opposed the Burka saying that it was a principle cause of bone disease in Afghan women because of it preventing sunlight on the skin. In a country that saw the Taliban throw acid in the faces of 8 year old girls simply for going to school in violation of Taliban law, simply being a woman and being a doctor put Dr. Samar at risk. But to be so outspoken on her opposition to the Burka, Dr. Samar knew that she was risking her life on a daily basis and yet continued with her work.
According to Tobia, Samar losing the prize to Obama was bigger news in Afghanistan than Obama winning it. And a bigger disappointment. And it takes on even greater poignancy and irony since the future of Afghanistan and the security threat represented by the Taliban is going to be decided by Obama in the very near future.