KABUL – The Taliban rulers have prevented scores of Afghan female students from traveling to the United Arab Emirates for higher education, says the chairman of a scholarship group that had extended offers to them.
Expressing his disappointment, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, chairman of the Al Habtoor group, took to X to share the setback: “I am unable to express the disappointment I feel now as the Afghan female students, whom I had provided an educational scholarship … were unfortunately unable to reach Dubai airport.”
Al Habtoor had facilitated an opportunity for these women to study in collaboration with the University of Dubai, arranging essential services such as university admissions, accommodations, transportation, health insurance, and safety measures. Despite these efforts, their aspirations were thwarted.
Despite the Taliban’s claims of a more moderate approach compared to their past rule in the 1990s, their recent actions have been harsh and restrictive. Taking control of Afghanistan in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO forces withdrew after a twenty-year conflict, the Taliban have enforced stringent measures. These include barring women from various spheres of public life, imposing restrictions on work and media, and limiting girls’ education to the sixth grade. Afghan women are also prohibited from working in local NGOs, non-governmental organizations, and even the United Nations.
These actions have sparked global outrage, deepening the country’s isolation at a time when its economy is in shambles and a humanitarian crisis is worsening. Despite attempts to reach the Taliban for comment, no response has been received. Al Habtoor has appealed for swift assistance from all relevant parties to support the affected students. Top of Form