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AUW Helps Afghan Women Brave Perilous Journeys for Education and Empowerment Abroad

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Afghan Students: bbc news

In the heart of Bangladesh, Nina, a 19-year-old determined soul, stands before her dorm room mirror, boxing gloves raised defiantly. This act isn’t just about honing self-defense skills; it’s a statement of resilience shared by hundreds of Afghan women. Despite the possibility of never returning home, AUW helps Afghan women brave perilous journeys for education and empowerment abroad.

As Kabul airport loomed before her almost a year ago, Nina’s apprehension was palpable. Escaping Afghanistan’s new restrictions was a risky gamble. Taliban rule has robbed women of fundamental rights – education beyond 12, clothing choices, and the freedom to travel unaccompanied for more than 72km. To escape scrutiny, Nina had to fabricate a story about her sick mother to evade the authorities.

Boarding the aircraft marked a heart-wrenching separation from her loved ones and homeland. With tears streaming, she relinquished familiarity, trading it for an uncertain future. The Asian University for Women (AUW) was vital in orchestrating audacious evacuations. Kamal Ahmad, AUW’s visionary founder, led the effort, ensuring 148 women found sanctuary in Saudi Arabia despite the perilous journey.

AUW’s mission endures, facilitating the relocation of an additional 450 women to esteemed institutions like Brown, Oxford, and Manchester. Their ambitious aim? To extend this lifeline to 1,000 Afghan women, offering scholarships and a secure passage away from the turmoil. One of these beneficiaries, Safia, a young journalist, managed to slip through the Taliban’s tightening grip. Her aspirations now revolve around amplifying silenced voices.

Within AUW’s nurturing walls, Nina’s boxing club thrives as a symbol of empowerment. The ruthless Taliban regime has reversed years of progress, extinguishing dreams with a swift stroke.

Now, as AUW helps Afghan women brave perilous journeys for education and empowerment abroad, how would you describe these women: Safia, whose career abruptly halted when they closed down the television studio she worked for? Amidst stringent restrictions on women, Safia’s very freedom was curtailed, even facing the threat of kidnapping for her choice of clothing. However, a scholarship from AUW offered a new path. Safia now aspires to give voice to the silenced and become a beacon of change. And Nina, who on the other hand, now finds solace in her boxing club to empower other women in self-defense and strength-building, overcoming the trauma of leaving their families and familiar surroundings, battling uncertainties and adversity as they enter an unfamiliar future?

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