News about the foundation, girls' education, and women's rights in Afghanistan
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Shakira is 17 years old and is in the twelfth grade. She has three sisters and two brothers. Her father is a cashier in a public school and her mother is a homemaker. Two of Shakira’s sisters attend school at the Zabuli Education Center; they are in grades 5 and 6.
Shakira has been in school at the Zabuli Education Center since 2010. She has beautiful handwriting and enjoys reading and writing poems in her free time. Her favorite classes are computer literacy, English, and biology. She wants to become a lawyer when she grows up.
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Over the next month, we'll be sharing profiles of some of our students as a way of highlighting the girls that would benefit from the building of a college in Kabul.
Our first student is Majeeda. Majeeda is 16 years old and is in the ninth grade. She has four sisters and four brothers. Both of Majeeda’s younger sisters attend school at the Zabuli Education Center. One of them, Baso, is in the eight grade, and the other is in kindergarten. Majeeda is a very polite, intelligent, calm, kind, and punctual student. In 2014, during the winter course she helped teach kindergarten. She enjoys reading books and magazines in her free time and teaching the younger girls at the school. She is a great cook as well!
Zabuli Education Center founder Razia Jan recently received a very sweet letter from a student that we think is worth sharing. In it, 11th grader Uzma thanks Razia for all that she's done and talks about the positive effect going to school has had on her life. Here is the letter in full:
"THE MOST SACRIFICIAL AFGHAN WOMAN RAZIA JAN
She is the best among all afghan women in field of serving for her country.
She has created a school in one of villages near Kabul which had a very positive effect on girl’s education.
This was a good chance for all girls because their future will be bright and their life will change in good manner.
This school is a modern school it has all facilities for student and all are free.
Way of teaching is the best and teachers and students are qualified and hard worker.
Even this school is located in a strict area but these possibilities all brought by Razia jan.
We can say she changed impossible to possible.
Now our girls are able to think about their future to become good characters and serve for their country and people.
This school established in 2008.
People of our village are happy with this school because now all girls are able to study and it seems that their wishes and hopes are getting step and become true.
I am zabuli student Uzma ‘Azami’ studying at grade eleven.
I am so happy from studying in this school and it is enjoyable for me being with my friends.
We are hope for more success and progressive for our school and we thanks Razia jan for preparing us such kind of opportunities.
We pray for her long live full of happiness’s and success.
We know she is the cause we reach our hope by establishing
Razia’s ray of hope."
Illustrator Suana Verelst has posted an interview on her website about the process she went through in creating her award-winning illustrations for Elizabeth Suneby's book, Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education.
In the interview, she talks about her creative process, the symbolism she used in her illustrations, and what inspired her to get involved in the project. Here's an excerpt:
"I was inspired by Razia Jan’s courage and vision to start a school under such adverse conditions and also by the human rights aspect of the topic. I was attracted to the beauty of the barren landscape and the architecture. I learnt about the country by looking at hundreds of images and several videos. My objective for this book was to create a dance alongside the story. I wanted the illustrations to speak for themselves hinting at the country’s past and its present tension."
Read the full interview here.
And order your copy of the book here!