Afghan girls learn handicrafts

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Following the closing of girls’ schools about six grade, a number of female students above sixth grade in Herat province have turned to sewing and other handicrafts instead of staying at home.

They say that after being turned away from schools they were forced to leave home and learn a new profession to escape stress and anxiety.

They asked the officials to reopen girls’ above sixth grade.

Aziza, a 10th-grade student who has just learned to sew, teaches the skill to other students.

“When the schools closed, we got bored at home and even had mental health problems, so we came here to at least learn something and have fun,” said Aziza Mohammadi, a student in 10th grade.

Eighty women and girls are trained in the “Elhambakhsh Association” in handicrafts, computers, the Holy Quran and first aid. More than eighty percent of the participants in these courses are school-aged students.

“Currently, eighty students are studying here in English, literacy, the Holy Quran, tailoring, weaving, and so on,” said Shukria Ahmadi, head of the Elhambakhsh Association.

In addition to female students, a number of former government employees and housewives also learn different skills in this association.

“Here we learn how to make kitchen utensils, shirts, etc,” said Nadia Hashemi, a teacher.

“Most of them are school students and they are very interested because they are teenagers and they want to learn these jobs,” said Somaya Azimi, another teacher.

It has been over eight months since the closing of schools for girls over 6th grade.

Many of these students, like Aziza, did not stay home and turned to learning foreign languages, computers, and handicrafts.

They are counting the days until their schools repopen.

Meanwhile, a group of Afghan female students from Herat won an award at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition, which was hosted by Poland and held online in the first week of July.

The event is 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 receive certificates, awards, cash prizes, and global recognition.

The competition honors the best participants from each participating nation with a special national award certificate.

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.

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,” said Amina Karimiyan, head 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.—Tolonews

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