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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Educating Girls in Afghanistan

I had the honor of hosting Shabana Basij Rasikh in my home recently for a weekend. Shabana is an Afghani woman who went to an underground school for girls during the Taliban's reign, and had to dress as a boy for several years so that she and her adolescent sister (who could only go out on the streets in a burka with a male companion) could attend the secret school. Her story and the story of parents who continued to educate their girls, and putting their lives at risk to do so, is one of courage and determination and dedication to their communities. Today she runs a boarding school for girls which has 18 students attending the school in Kabul and 25 placed in prep schools or colleges in the US. The primary job of the school is to prepare girls to get to the level of education where they can apply and get a scholarship to a prep school in the states. Shabana herself went straight from Kabul to Middlebury but found the first year so challenging that she was determined to create a better on-ramp via prep schools for her fellow Afghani students.

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