Woman Shot By Taliban For Educating Herself Graduates With Honours

Breshna Musazai graduates collegeSehrar Fetrat/Twitter

A woman from Afghanistan, who was shot in an attack by the Taliban in 2016, has graduated from the American University in Kabul.

Breshna Musazai, 28, was given a standing ovation as she walked painfully to the stage, with the aid of a walker, to collect her college diploma, The Washington Post reports.

The student, who has been dubbed ‘Afghanistan’s Malala’ graduated with honours in law studies after being shot twice in the leg by Taliban insurgents who are opposed to education for women.

Musazai attended high school and college in Pakistan, but her family returned to Afghanistan in 2011 when she started studying law at the American University in Kabul.

In 2016, Taliban fighters stormed the campus, setting off explosions and shooting students. More than 30 people were injured and 11 people lost their lives in the attack.

As The Post reported at the time, three police officers, seven students and one guard were killed in the nine-hour battle at the Kabul campus. The attackers were also killed.

Musazai was inside a college building when the Taliban stormed the college. She could not escape, however, as she suffered from polio as a child, which left her with a damaged right leg. She was shot twice in her left leg by the attackers.

Musazai played dead for hours, lying on the floor until the authorities had put an end to the attack.

The student received medical attention in the U.S before returning to college with the use of a wheelchair.

Speaking to Women in the World, Musazai said:

There was a brief period during my recovery when I thought I would not be able to go back to school. It seemed to me that my life was over.

But then my professors who were in touch with me, they urged me to return. They even installed ramps for me around campus to make it more accessible.

Musazai also had a message for her attackers, saying:

I want to tell [the insurgents] that they can try to kill as many of us as they can, but that doesn’t mean we will stop fighting them. I am going to continue to work and struggle if I must.

We cannot just stay at home because the outside is not safe. This is life and we have to fight back.

This is how we are fighting back.

Musazai’s journey has been followed by many people since the horrific incident at her college.

Sahar Fetrat, a feminist and activist in Kabul, said:

Breshna is full of courage and inspiration. She definitely is Afghanistan’s Malala. More power to her.

Afghanistan has one of the world’s highest illiteracy rates among females. But, despite dangers and threats to security, more and more women like Musazai are pursuing higher education.

Now that she has graduated, Musazai is determined to keep going, and plans to study for a master’s degree in law or in human rights.

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