A network of solidarity with Afghan colleagues

Posted August 16, 2023

This August marks two years since the US withdrawal and Taliban takeover of Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghan scholars and colleagues across the education spectrum have witnessed the deliberate and ongoing devastation of Afghanistan’s higher education system, and the summary denial of educational opportunity for women and girls. 

Listen to stories about Afghanistan on SAR’s Free to Think Podcast.

In response to the ongoing and still overwhelming needs, SAR has since worked with more than 100 at-risk scholars and practitioners from Afghanistan, including over 50 who have, to date, taken up positions at 39 host institutions across 9 countries.

Many other Afghan scholars have worked with SAR partners and assistance programs worldwide, contributing in a myriad of ways to the global academy and to their colleagues and students at home. Universities and partners within the SAR network continue to open up opportunities for colleagues in Afghanistan or displaced across the wider diaspora.

SAR maintains a roster of resources and open opportunities for colleagues from Afghanistan and invites updates and information on new resources to share with our network. 

Below are some highlights from a July SAR workshop for scholars from Afghanistan.

Afghan scholars discuss career-building in the US

On July 17-18, 17 US-based scholars from Afghanistan joined SAR staff and partners at New York University (NYU) for the first in-person scholar workshop since 2019. The goal of the two-day event was to bring scholars, staff, and partners together to connect and collectively discuss ways to navigate the US job market and explore next steps in building an academic or professional career in a new location. In between sessions from SAR staff on making the most of and planning beyond an academic placement, external partners led thoughtful conversations on the intricacies of finding meaningful and stable employment in the US.

Colleagues from Upwardly Global began with a high-level overview of the US job market and provided guidance on US workplace culture, networking, and utilizing LinkedIn. A panel of representatives from academia followed with detailed explanations of the PhD and academic job application process, and opened up a thoughtful discussion on the different pathways to a career in academia. An NYU-based career coach closed with an interactive session on telling one’s story in a job application and tailoring a CV and resume to highlight strengths and diverse experience.

A common thread throughout the workshop was the importance of growing community, both academically and personally. Scholars engaged not only with the various presenters, but also with one another, forging meaningful connections to fellow Afghan academics and growing a network of peers. Following the workshop, the scholars reported a stronger understanding of the US job market, the PhD application process, tailoring job materials, and networking.

One scholar shared, It was a productive workshop and I learned a lot. I am very grateful that you invited me to this event. I enjoyed and learned. After one year I met Afghan scholars, it was exciting and I am happy that they are safe and appreciate your assistance with each one of us.”

As usual, we invite expressions of interest, and thank the SAR Network for its unwavering solidarity and support. If your institution is interested in hosting a SAR scholar, please review the list of over 80 scholars seeking placements here and email hostingatSAR@nyu.edu.

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