2nd Year Law School Student, Minor in English Literature
Where are you from?
I was born in Khost to a Kuchi family in 1992. Due to the war, my family like millions of other Afghans moved to Pakistan as refugees. I have five sisters and a brother. No one in my family had been educated so there was a special emphasis on academia. I began going to school in German funded school in Peshawar, Pakistan. I returned to Afghanistan in 2002, where I finished high school in Khost in 2012.
How did you find out about AUAF?
After high school, I attended Edward College in Peshawar in 2015. Unfortunately, due to some ongoing political issues in the region, I was expelled for no reason in 2016. I was planning to go to India to continue my university education, but that proved to be very difficult. I started searching for universities- especially where our leaders have gone to. Of course, I preferred to go back to Afghanistan but only if I can get a quality university education. I saw an advertisement for AUAF in a newspaper in Khost- I couldn’t believe such an institution existed with top professors and a safe environment.
I began reaching out to friends and started inquiring about the application process. I also had to convince my parents- who thought university was a strange phenomenon and did not put much value into it. I told them I am from a new generation, one that values higher education. It was during that debate with my parents that I knew I had to go to AUAF. My generation believes in the miracle of higher education.
How did you apply to AUAF?
It was a difficult period in my life. I missed the concours because my father was very ill at the time. When I decided to apply to AUAF, I went to Kabul for the first time, where I shared a room with my friends and attended AUAF to study to take TOEFL lessons. To this day, I cannot thank Daniel McNamara- my instructor enough. He helped me get through it. I was so excited when I passed the TOEFL but as I more excited meeting the professors. Prof. John Wall and Prof. Michael Barry inspired me. I knew AUAF was the place for me after interacting with the professors and students.
What challenges have you faced in coming to AUAF?
The Khost- Kabul trip is very dangerous. The first time I took that route, our bus was caught in a firefight in Logar- everyone was injured on the bus- including myself. Some very seriously injured. The Taliban just appeared from nowhere and started shooting the bus. The injured bus driver continued to drive very fast past to the next check point where we finally went to a hospital. Some people nearly died.
This is the reality of getting an education in Afghanistan. But we persevere because we must.
How did you feel when you learned that you were accepted and received a scholarship?
I remember I was with my family back in Khost when I found out. It was the happiest day in my life. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited to study and to live in Kabul because it is the intellectual hub of Afghanistan.
What were your initial thoughts during your first day at AUAF?
When I come to AUAF- it changed me in profound ways. It gives every student an ambition to lead the country. It felt like kindred spirits- respect each other, no hatred, they want questions. You can’t ask teachers questions in traditional questions. There is no hierarchy and that is very important to understand.
Why did you decide to study law and minor in English literature?
Reading is my passion- always has been. I am always walking around with a book in my hand. I always wanted to be a writer. Through my reading, I became very interested in the law and the idea of law. It appealed to me. I also knew from friends that the law program at AUAF is the best in the country, because of Stanford and its textbooks. I knew I would learn from the best. My degree allows me to pursue both passions.
What did you think of Campus?
It is a beautiful- a paradise in hell sometimes.
Where can they find you on campus?
Laura Bush library. Because is wisdom there and is a place of intellect.
What are your thoughts on the acdemic quality?
When it comes to academia, AUAF is by far the best school in Afghanistan- maybe the region. In social sciences we have Prof. Fontan, Dr. Barry and Dr. Henderson who is the best teacher I have had and has helped me become a great writer. Dr. John Wall in philosophy has changed my mind about society and life. I always discuss this with friends outside of campus. I have friends who went to universities in different countries and even they admit that the English classes at AUAF is far better than any of their universities. It is unparalleled. AUAF is also intense and challenging- always have to work.
What’s your favorite class?
“Responding to literature” by Professor Christine Murray. It is fantastic.
How does AUAF prepare you for your career?
Current market is very demanding but AUAF instills everything the market requires. Researching, synthesis and writing is critical in the job market and you get to that immediately at AUAF. By the end of the first year you are comfortable with writing research papers. That is what makes AUAF unique.
Where do you see yourself after AUAF?
Understanding and broadening my horizon is my main goal in life. Being educated is more important and so is being a better member of the community. Academically, my goal is to have an LLM from
What Advice do you have for prospective students?
Mind is a terrible thing to waste. At AUAF you meet so many different people and you can sense that your colleagues will be leaders because they are smart and they are encouraged by professors and staff. I believe in the principles of unity and AUAF represents unity to make Afghanistan better. You have to work hard at AUAF. There are no shortcuts here- it is very demanding but rewarding. So prepare to work hard!
What would you tell AUAF supporters?
If the donors don’t support- lots of minds and potential will be wasted. AUAF proves that you can build a new generation of educated young men and women. They should listen to our ideas and see our efforts. Many students here rely on support for scholarships and they have to endure much hardship to get them. I hope more of my fellow Afghans enter AUAF with scholarships.
What are your thoughts on Afghanistan today?
Day to day. I will exercise my ballot. This is a democracy and I will exercise my democratic right. We have chosen a different path- of freedom and love.
What role is AUAF playing in Afghanistan?
It plays the most critical role. Afghanistan never had such an institution. AUAF builds societies and the future of the nation. AUAF is where the next generation of leaders are trained.
At AUAF- getting education doesn’t mean simply to learn, it means to contribute to your own society. And that is what I will do.
Any last thoughts?
Yeah, thank you for the interview but I have to get back to my homework.