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Zahra was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, leading a normal life with her loving family. She graduated from high school and secured a scholarship to study in Bangladesh. Life seemed to be on a positive trajectory until the global spread of COVID-19 forced her university to close its doors in 2020. Determined to pursue her dreams, Zahra returned to Afghanistan and continued her studies online despite the numerous challenges posed by limited access to the internet and electricity.
However, Zahra’s life took a dramatic turn on August 15, 2021, when the Taliban seized control and power in Afghanistan. The government collapsed, and women were banned from working and studying, leaving them without basic human rights. For a while, hope seemed lost, and the future appeared bleak for Afghan women, including Zahra.
In the face of despair, Zahra heard about initiatives aimed at helping Afghan women escape to the United States. On August 28, 2021, Zahra, along with 147 women, made the difficult decision to leave their homeland with the invaluable assistance of the Mayo Family Foundation. They embarked on a journey fraught with challenges, living in a military camp in the U.S. for two months.
Trials and tribulations have marked Zahra’s journey, but she has emerged from them even stronger, more resilient, and determined to achieve her dreams. Her experiences have become the foundation upon which she builds her future.
Today, Zahra is a Arizona State University (ASU) scholar, pursuing her dreams of education and personal growth. ASU has become her second home, allowing her to enroll in the Global Launch program that offers English proficiency classes and choose a major, contemplating either law or computer science.