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On August 25, 2021, 63 young Afghan women attempted to enter the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul following the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. These women, aged 20-25, faced a dangerous and chaotic scene as people desperately tried to flee from the impeding Taliban rule. After two unsuccessful attempts to pass the Taliban checkpoints, two busses carrying the women finally entered the airport and they were evacuated on US military planes to parts yet unknown. On September 1, they arrived in Wisconsin among 14,000 other Afghans fleeing their country, again not knowing what was to come next. Finally, at the end of December 2021, they found themselves in Tempe, Arizona with an opportunity to study at Arizona State University as part of a resettlement program in partnership with the International Rescue Committee. In this session, we hear stories from five of those young women; of the family and friends they left behind, of the uncertainties of their futures, and of their service to fellow Afghans as interpreters, service volunteers, and educators, and to hear what they hope to achieve in their new life in the US.

Opening Remarks

Laura Deal Lacey
Executive Director, Asia Center, Milken Institute

Moderator

Curtis S. Chin
Milken Institute Asia Fellow; former US Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank

Speakers

Mina Mushtaq
Student, Arizona State University

Tahmina Raoufi
Student, Arizona State University

Fahima Sultani
Student, Arizona State University

Farahnaz Walizada
Student, Arizona State University

Humaira Zafari
Student, Arizona State University; former Intern, Milken Institute