Breshna Musazai ’18
Bachelor of Arts and Law
You can hear Breshna’s story, firsthand, by clicking here.
In August 2016, the American University of Afghanistan was
subject to two terrorist attacks: a kidnapping of two of its professors and a gunfire explosion which claimed the lives of fifteen students, professors, and first responders. Dozens more were left injured. You were one of those students. Can you tell us about that day?
I was waiting in the prayer hall for my ride home. When I opened the door to leave; chaos, mayhem, and destruction began. Gunmen were everywhere, so I returned inside the hall to hide. I thought I was safe behind the locked doors, until the wall behind me collapsed. I waited until I heard silence and fled to the next building, thinking it was over. I came across a man who appeared in the dimly lit hallway to be a police officer. I stared at him with a sigh of relief. He immediately opened fire, shooting my “good leg” –one that was not affected by a case of childhood polio. I laid in the hallway for six hours, afraid and unable to move. Eventually the police discovered me, and I was transported to a hospital.
What inspired you to return to AUAF?
When AUAF opened its doors again in March of 2017, it had higher enrollment than before the attack took place. I was hesitant to return, as I knew each moment I spent on campus would remind me of the trauma. Students began writing around campus “Education will Prevail.” As scared as I was to go back, I knew this was true. I had to keep pursuing my dreams, for myself and for Afghanistan. On my graduation day in the spring of 2018, I was still in my wheelchair, though I was committed to crossing the graduation stage as I had
originally imaged doing so years ago. For the first-time since the attack, I walked the length of the stage to receive my degree. I will never forget the standing ovation I received from my peers and professors. To this day, it gives me courage when I need it most.
How do you plan to use your AUAF degree?
I studied law at AUAF, an undergraduate program taught by Stanford Law School professors, and am pursuing a master’s degree so that I can advocate for the disabled in Afghanistan.