DOHA — Amid the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, an all-female Afghan robotics team were evacuated to Qatar and will continue their education uninterrupted.
The girls’ education will be supported through scholarships from the Qatar Foundation (QF) and Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The team will study at the Qatar Foundation’s Education City. The team, known as the “Afghan Dreamers”, was flown to Doha on a flight organized by Qatari officials after their home country came under Taliban rule and is now being housed at Education City.
QF’s Education City is a one-of-a-kind program, comprising eight universities — including branch campuses of some of the world’s leading universities — and both mainstream and specialized schools, and offers education spanning K-12 to postdoctoral level.
The Afghan Dreamers will be supported in continuing their high school studies and preparing for higher education, with placements being based on their educational assessments and their goals. They’ll also have the opportunity to keep enhancing their robotics skills through the facilities and expertise available at QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University and QF partner universities Texas A&M University at Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
The students traveled to Qatar after their parent organization, the Digital Citizen Fund, worked with Qatar’s government to secure the necessary visas.
The foundation says the support for Afghani students reflects its belief that nothing should stand in the way of education and its commitment to ensuring people from Qatar and beyond can realize their potential. It also says Qatar and its people want to show support and solidarity for those experiencing hardship and upheaval.
“These talented, creative students have been living through a time of uncertainty and upheaval, and at Qatar Foundation we want to do whatever we can to ease their concerns in the present while also helping them to look to the future,” said Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, vice chairperson and CEO of the QF. “By providing them with scholarships to study at Education City, their education can now continue uninterrupted.”
The foundation is currently assessing their specific needs to ensure the team is receive the learning experience within its schools and pre-university preparatory program that best suits their abilities and their goals.
“The educational program jointly funded by QF and QFFD provides high-quality technical training in the use of modern technologies, which will enable Afghani female students to acquire the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be appropriately qualified and in demand within the labor market,” said Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari, director general of the QFFD. “We hope that this program and the strategic partnership between QFFD, QF and the Digital Citizen Fund will renew hope for a new generation of Afghani girls.”
Roya Mahboob, the founder of the Digital Citizen Fund, said the team is excited and grateful for this opportunity to study abroad.
“Qatar Foundation’s Education City, a remarkable campus made of up of leading academic and research institutions from around the world, is a place where the girls can realize their full potential,” Mahboob said. “The children of Afghanistan are eager and ready to continue making great contributions to the world.”