ICYMI: “Afghan schoolgirl scarred in acid attack now a teacher”
It’s been almost five years since a group of young Afghan women on their way to school were assaulted in a horrific attack in November 2008. Men threw acid on the girls' faces, and three were seriously injured. Mrs. Bush spoke out at the time and called them “cowardly and shameful acts.”
Today, one of the girls has the courage to return to the classroom – as a teacher. Shamsia Husseini , now 22 years old, not only returned to school after the attacks, she has continued to speak out against violence against women in Afghanistan and champions girls’ education as a fourth grade teacher at an all-girls’ school in Kandahar.
"It was very important for me to become a teacher as it shows people that the attackers did not win, just like we came back to school after the attack,” Shamsia said recently to Agence France-Presse. “By teaching, I want to show that education is important and that women can do more than work in the kitchen." Shamsia’s courage inspires us all.
Over the last twelve years, Afghan women have made tremendous gains. They need us to continue to support them so the Taliban do not gain grounds and return to the brutal repression of women. Today, Afghan girls can attend school. Women hold important positions in local and national government and play a vital role in the economy. But Shamsia’s story also reminds us that serious threats to women and girls remain.
The Bush Institute’s Afghan Women’s Project spotlights the struggles and successes of Afghan women by telling their personal stories, publishing briefings and reports, and highlighting beneficial projects. Learn more about how you can help ensure that dignity and opportunity will be secured for all the women and children of Afghanistan.
Read the recent article about Shamsia here: http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/afghan-schoolgirl-scarred-in-acid-attack-now-a-teacher-440254
A Voice of Hope
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The George W. Bush Institute marched forward in 2016 toward its goals of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today's most pressing challenges. The year also saw Kenneth Hersh become president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, as his predecessor, Margaret Spellings, departed to head the University of North Carolina System. As we look back over 2016, here are five top moments from the Bush Institute's Global Leadership Impact Center, which houses the Human Freedom Initiative, the Women's Initiative, and our global health initiative through our affiliate Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon. Bush Institute Releases We Are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope Book The book launched with an event at the Bush Center featuring a poignant conversation between Mrs. Bush and Razia Jan, who is featured in the book, moderated by Greta Van Susteren. Mrs. Bush promoted the book with a media tour throughout March, including interviews with the TODAY show and Glamour&
“Voice of Hope” Dr. Sakeena Yacoobi Awarded 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize
Dr. Sakeena Yacoobi, founder and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) and one of 29 inspiring individuals featured in the Bush Institute’s book, We are Afghan Women: Voices of Hope, has been selected for the 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize for her more than 20 years of work as an educator and humanitarian. The Sunhak Peace Prize was established to honor individuals who make significant contributions to address worldwide suffering, conflict, poverty, and threats to the environment by promoting a comprehensive, future-oriented vision of peace. In Afghanistan, Dr. Yacoobi has done just that. After the Taliban closed girls’ schools in the 1990s, Dr. Yacoobi’s AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3,000 girls. Today, the organization rebuilds education and health systems in Afghanistan as well as provides emergency and legal aid. Seventy percent of AIL’s beneficiaries are women, and the organization is run mainly by female leadership. In ad