world news online news
By Estelle Emonet and Aysha Safi
A month after losing her eye in a deadly suicide bomb attack on her academy, a young Hazara woman has finished among the top candidates in Afghanistan’s tough university entrance exams. online news
Results issued over the weekend showed Fatima Amiri scored 313 points out of a possible 360 in the “Kankor”, a highly competitive test that more than 100,000 students sat this year to win a coveted university place.
The top student got 355, but anything over 300 puts students in the very highest category.
“I am happy to have succeeded in the field of my choice,” said Amiri, who wants to study computer science.
“But I am not satisfied with my score. I was aiming for more,” she told AFP Monday.
It was a courageous achievement by the 17-year-old, who was badly injured in the September 30 attack on a private college where dozens of young men and women were cramming for the Kankor.
A suicide bomber entered the hall and walked to the front — where girls and young women had been segregated — then detonated a bomb that killed at least 54 people.
Most of those in the hall were from Afghanistan’s minority Hazara community, Shiites in a majority Sunni nation.
The community has been a frequent target of attacks by the Islamic State (IS) group — who consider them heretics — and Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers said they had killed six IS plotters in a follow-up operation.
But education for girls like Amiri is tough enough even without the threat of IS attacks.
world news online news
The Taliban have shuttered secondary schools for girls across most of the country, but some private colleges — like the one Amiri was attending — remain open.
Amiri was still recovering from her wounds when she sat the exams — blinded in one eye and deaf in an ear.
“I was happy to be able to take the exam, but my pain did not allow me to be very happy,” she said, tears welling.
“The day of the exam I felt the absence of my friends.”
When the results were announced, she rushed to the scene of the tragedy to pay tribute to them.
“I went there and told my friends who were martyred that I have succeeded,” she said.
“I have to continue my studies for them even if it’s hard.”
Top students from the Kankor get the choice of the best courses at the leading universities, but Amiri’s dream now is the opportunity to study abroad.
“I’m sure that if I study here, the same incident will happen again and I could lose my life,” she said.
© Agence France-Presse. All rights are reserved.
world news online news
Notes from APS Radio News
The “Cost of War”, a project affiliated with Brown University, has itemized the costs associated with the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan:
Over 801,000 people have died in the post-9/11 wars due to direct war violence, and several times as many due to the reverberating effects of war
Over 335,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting
37 million — the number of war refugees and displaced persons
The US federal price tag for the post-9/11 wars is over $6.4 trillion
The US government is conducting counterterror activities in 85 countries
The wars have been accompanied by violations of human rights and civil liberties, in the US and abroad.
In addition, the website makes mention of this fact: Since the commencement of these wars, there have been 30,177 suicides of veterans of these wars.
According to a number of economists, the expenditure of vast sums of money—trillions of dollars—on these wars has reduced substantially the purchasing power of the dollar.
Observers have called inflation a “hidden tax”.
During the 1990’s the Clinton administration gave tacit if not explicit support to the Taliban government that took over the country during that time after over a decade of US and Soviet interventions in Afghanistan in the 1980’s.
During the late 1970’s then National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski oversaw surrpetitious intervention, which, in its turn, caused the secular government in Afghanistan to petition the Soviet Union to intervene.
According to the author Jean-Charles Brisard, in the summer of 2001, representatives of the Bush Administration and those of Unocal held a series of meetings with representatives of the Taliban government, for the purpose of obtaining rights of way for the emplacement & construction of a massive pipeline.
When the negotiations came to grief, Bush representatives threatened the Taliban with attacks against the country, Mr. Brisard described in his book, “Forbidden Truth“.
Following the commencement of Soviet and US intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980’s, the country devloved into spheres of influnece dominated by various warlords.
The Pashtuns are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan; they form a substantial precentage of the population on both sides of Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.
The Taliban are comprised of members of the Pashtuns, which are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, compared to the the 1990’s and beyond, Afghanistan had governments that were deemed more secular.
During that time women attended schools and were more likely to wear Western type clothing.
As a result of actions and policies implemented National Security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, during the Carter administration, the government in Afghanistan in the late 1970’s requested Soviet assistance.
After the Soviet armed forces had entered Afghanistan, the CIA funded and armed groups like the Mujahideen and other militant Islamists.