Tuesday, August 17, 2021

How to Interest Academics in the Taliban

 8/17/21 Inside Higher Education:

Mujaddedi's thoughts were focused on the displaced people he and fellow AUAF students had helped earlier that day -- the children without food, the women without access to toilets -- and on the future of his country. He worried that the progress of the last 20 years and the rights that had been gained for women and for members of minority groups would be rolled back.

“I don’t want it to go away; I don’t want it to be demolished. All my worries are about the dignity of Afghans, about the beautiful country that we have, about the educational development that we have made so far,” Mujaddedi said Saturday night.

Kabul fell to Taliban control the next day.

“Basically, all over,” Mujaddedi said Monday. “Afghanistan moved 20 years to the past.”

Officials at AUAF, which was established with U.S. development funding in 2006 in the wake of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan as the country’s first and only private, secular, coed nonprofit institution, did not respond to messages on Monday. The university’s website was down, and its Twitter and Facebook accounts appeared to have been deleted....

The rapid takeover by the Taliban raised particular fears about women’s rights, which were severely curtailed during the Taliban’s previous five-year rule of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. The Taliban forbade almost all education for women and girls during its reign.

“Now the Taliban have seized control of Kabul, a new reign of terror for people living in Afghanistan has begun,” the European Parliament said in a news release Monday. “For Afghan women and girls, this means systemic and brutal oppression in all aspects of life. In Taliban-controlled areas, women's universities have been closed, they are denying girls access to education, and women are sold as sex slaves.”...

Victoria Fontan, vice president of academic affairs at AUAF, spoke to FranceInfo about evacuation efforts.

"We burned the university's servers, all the documents we were able to take before leaving, such as the lists of professors, students," Fontan told the publication (translated from French). "We especially do not want to leave information on the people who were able to help us." 

Wow!  Removing the Mean Tweeter has consequences.

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