Two Years after Escaping Blast at her Tuition Centre, Afghan Girl Tops National Exam

Two years back an academy tutoring under privileged students in Afghanistan’s Kabul came to news after was attacked by a suicide bomber killing many students. The academy is in news again, but this time for all the good reasons. A girl student has made a mark in the Afghan society, an overtly male-dominated society, after she topped the national university entrance exam. With a score of 353 out of 360, Shamsia is all set to enter the medical sciences faculty.

Eighteen-year-old Shamsia fared better than other 200,000 students who had appeared in the entrance exam. It was a pleasant surprise for Shamsia and her family on Thursday when they learnt on Thursday that their daughter had topped the exam. It was her mother who first heard the news on Television and told the family about it.

Shamsia thought her mother was kidding when she told her about the results, but the elation on her mother’s face was something that she had seen never before. “Her smile was a gift and made my day; it was better than gaining the highest score in the country,” Shamsia, whose father is a coal mine worker, was quoted as saying by The New York Times.

In 2018, the tuition centre where Shamsia and many other under-privileged students were preparing for competitive exams was raided by a suicide bomber. The assailant stormed into the lecture hall of the academy where nearly 200 students were present at that time. The bomber detonated his vest and killed and injured nearly half the studnets there. Among them were Shamsia’s friends and women whom she considered her inspirations.

An offshoot of the Islamic State had claimed the responsibility of the attack that claimed at least 40 lives.

But all the trauma and suffering is a past now. Shamsia is being lauded a hero, an inspiration in her world where education for girls has been attacked every now and then.

After years of being oppressed under the fundamentalist Taliban regime, the women are coming out of the shadows of male dominance and patriarchy. Women presence at the negotiation table in Doha talks was seen as a historic moment. Four Afghan women who endured the Taliban’s oppressive rule and have fought for fragile gains since the militants were ousted faced the hardline group in peace talks.

Their presence at the negotiating table is significant in patriarchal Afghanistan, though they are outnumbered by the rest of the Afghan government’s team of 17 men and the Taliban’s male-only side.

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