Afghanistan school attack: Schoolgirl passes university entrance exams after September attack

An Afghan teenager Fatemeh Amiri, 17, who was severely injured in a suicide attack on her school in September has passed her university entrance exams.

Amiri lost an eye and sustained severe injuries to her jaw and ear when the Kabul-based Kaaj education center was attacked on September 30. The blast at the female section of the education center killed 53 people, most of them girls and young women, and injured dozens.

Students were sitting a mock university exam when the center, located in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul, was struck.

While recovering from her injuries, the 17-year-old started studying again and scored more than 85 percent in her university entrance exam.

“On the day of the exam, I was affected by the Kaaj attack – my eye was in pain, I couldn’t see the question papers properly,” said Amiri, adding that losing her eye in the attack has only made her stronger.

“The tasks I was not able to do with both eyes, now I will do it with one eye,” she said, underscoring her determination to challenge herself even though she only has one eye now.

Her teacher had helped her check her results online, she said, adding that she was disappointed at first for not being among the top 10 highest result achievers.

“I got really sad in the first stage, as I expected to be among the top 10. I didn’t want to see my result afterward. If I was not among the top 10, one or two other girls should have been there… I am sure there are girls among the top 10, but I don’t know why it was not announced,” she said.

“Girls’ talent should not be ignored… This is not a setback for girls, they won’t accept defeat.”

Regardless of the situation, Amiri said she is determined to study and pursue higher education in computer science.

“I loved it [computer science] and I am sure I will be able to go ahead with it,” she said.

Located in a predominantly Shia Muslim enclave and home to the minority Hazara community, the Kaaj tuition center is a private college which teaches male and female students.

Since the Taliban takeover in August last year, girls’ schools across the country have been closed but some private schools remain open.

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