The members of an all-female Afghan robotics team evacuated from Afghanistan to Qatar are to continue their education through scholarships at Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Education City, jointly funded by Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), a QF statement said on Tuesday.
The team, known as the ‘Afghan Dreamers’, were flown to Doha on a flight organised by Qatari officials after their home country came under Taliban rule and are now being housed at Education City, where they will receive scholarships to keep pursuing their studies through a strategic partnership between QF and QFFD.
QF’s Education City houses the largest education ecosystem of its kind in the world, comprising eight universities – including branch campuses of some of the world’s leading universities – and both mainstream and specialised schools, and offers education spanning K-12 to postdoctoral level.
The strategic partnership that has enabled the Afghan students to study at Education City reflects QF’s belief that nothing should stand in the way of education and its commitment to ensuring people from Qatar and beyond can realise their potential, while also further demonstrating how Qatar and its people show support and solidarity for those experiencing hardship and upheaval.
“These talented, creative students have been living through a time of uncertainty and upheaval, and at Qatar Foundation we want to do whatever we can to ease their concerns in the present while also helping them to look to the future,” said HE Sheikha Hind bint Hamad al-Thani, Vice-Chairperson and CEO, QF.
“By providing them with scholarships to study at Education City, their education can now continue uninterrupted. We are currently assessing their specific needs to ensure they receive the learning experience within our schools and our pre-university preparatory program that best suits their abilities and their goals.
“Our priority is to ensure that these students feel safe, cared for, and confident in the knowledge that their education will not be affected by this immensely difficult period in their lives.”
Khalifa bin Jassim al-Kuwari, director general QFFD, said: “The educational programme jointly funded by QF and QFFD provides high-quality technical training in the use of modern technologies which will enable Afghani female students to acquire the skills and knowledge that will allow them to be appropriately qualified and in demand within the labor market.
“We hope that this programme and the strategic partnership between QFFD, QF and the Digital Citizen Fund will renew hope for a new generation of Afghani girls.”
Roya Mahboob, the founder of the Digital Citizen Fund, parent organisation of the Afghan Girls Robotics Team, said: “The team is excited and grateful for this opportunity to study abroad.
“Qatar Foundation’s Education City, a remarkable campus made of up of leading academic and research institutions from around the world, is a place where the girls can realize their full potential. The children of Afghanistan are eager and ready to continue making great contributions to the world.”
At QF and in collaboration with QFFD, the Afghan Dreamers will be supported in continuing their high school studies and preparing for higher education, with placements being based on their educational assessments and their goals. They will also have the opportunity to keep enhancing their robotics skills through the facilities and expertise available at QF member Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and QF partner universities Texas A&M University at Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar.
The students travelled to Qatar after their parent organisation, the Digital Citizen Fund, worked with Qatar’s government to secure the necessary visas.