A piece by SAR Executive Director Robert Quinn and Allida Black for Newsweek covering universities efforts to assist at-risk scholars in Afghanistan.
As fascism swept 1930s Europe, some universities paid little attention. Others rejected domestic panic, set aside prejudices, ignored balance sheets and rose in defense of knowledge and freedom. Now as the Taliban sweeps Afghanistan, higher education must once again answer that call.
Over the last 20 years, hundreds of Afghans came to the United States to study, train and develop professional skills necessary to building a more peaceful, prosperous, just state. Many sold all they owned for the chance to make a difference. Many were women who returned to a society that for centuries did not acknowledge their existence. They built businesses and schools, became human rights defenders, organized women’s rights and minority rights networks, ran for office, prosecuted the Taliban, advised think tanks and managed government agencies. They helped steer multinational organizations, developed expertise in finance, climate change, health and gender-based violence. They taught girls to build robots and play soccer and basketball.
Read more here.