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Amid turmoil, Afghan female students win award at International Astronomy Competition

ANI | Updated: Jul 19, 2021 21:06 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], July 19 (ANI): Amid the turmoil in Afghanistan following US troop withdrawal, a group of Afghan female students from Herat won an award at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition, which was hosted by Poland and was held online in the first week of July.
The event was an international science competition that enables students from all countries to prove their skills and to unleash their creativity in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics.
Participants from five countries, including India and Bangladesh, got prizes in the competition. According to the Afghan team, 225 participants and groups from 54 countries attended the competition, reported Tolo News.
Members of the astronomy group--all of whom are girls-- said the achievement provided them the opportunity to make further efforts toward their goals.
"There were 225 astronomy groups from 54 countries. Our prize was a telescope and a package of other relevant equipment," Tolo News quoted Amina Karimiyan, head of the group as saying.
The publication also quoted other members of the group. "Despite limitations that exist in our dear country, we are thinking beyond this and we want to record Afghanistan's name in the astronomy science," said Behnaz Azizi, a member of the group.
"We want to show to everyone that Afghan girls can also make improvements and achievements in all sectors," said Yasamin Zafari, a member of the group.

Some girls have been studying astronomy for the last two years.
"I have a special interest in astronomy. I want to think about the sky before thinking about the earth planet, to see what is there," said Sahar, a student and member of the group.
Other members of the group said they need advanced equipment for their research.
"We could advance further if we had the equipment," said Mursal Habibi, a member of the group.
"We need the government's help to purchase telescopes and to establish places for astronomy lessons," said Elenaz Osmani, a member of the group.
Meanwhile, after capturing new areas in Afghanistan, the Taliban has re-imposed repressive laws and retrograde policies on Afghan women that defined its 1996-2001 rule when they enforced their version of Islamic Sharia law.
Frud Bezhan and Mustafa Sarwar, writing in Gandhara said that the re-imposition of repressive measures is the new harsh reality for the tens of thousands of Afghan women who live in areas recently captured by the Taliban. (ANI)