After the incident, continue to work to rescue Afghan scholars, students and higher education personnel The Taliban takeover and the downfall of the Afghan government Eight days ago.
President Joe Biden on Friday provided an update on efforts to evacuate American citizens, third-country civilians, Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans.
Biden said: “We have protected the airport so that the flight can resume, not just military flights, but also civilian chartered flights and NGOs from other countries to take away civilians and vulnerable Afghans.” “Now we are on the ground. There are nearly 6,000 soldiers…providing airport security. We will do our best to provide safe evacuation for our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who may be targeted because of their links with the United States.”
Leslie Schweitzer, a board member of the American University of Afghanistan and chairperson of Friends of the AUAF, a non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C., said that the university “has been arranging flights for our students to leave the country. It seems that the most feasible timetable is for Most of them are evacuated…After all Americans have evacuated, then we can use military flights, although we are continuing to try to arrange private charters.”
Schweitzer said on Friday that so far, only a few students have dropped out. She said the biggest challenge is to safely take them from their homes to the side of the airport controlled by US military personnel.
“We don’t want them to come to the airport before we know we have planes,” she said. “The difficulty is that people are trying to control the vulnerability of the Taliban through these different gates. It is dangerous and unpredictable. We don’t want our students to be in that dangerous situation until we guarantee that there will be an airplane. “
Schweitzer said the evacuation work was frustrating.
She said on Friday: “We thought that today’s planes could fly more, but they have not yet gained the ability to land.” “It’s not uncommon. This is how we spent the week.”
Schweitzer said that the university was founded in 2006 and received more than $100 million in funding from the United States Agency for International Development. It has “a long list of people working for us, and we know they are vulnerable.” It hopes to evacuate, including Students, faculty and staff, national staff and their families.
“I would say that we are an important priority for the USAID because we are the largest single agency they support in Afghanistan, and they have been working day and night in order to put visas together to meet our needs and let them Leave this country. As soon as possible,” she said. “Everyone is working tirelessly, we think we have made progress, and then we came to the gate controlled by the Taliban, and we couldn’t let people through.”
Schweitzer stated that AUAF has reached agreements with many other educational entities, including the American University of Iraq; the American University of Central Asia in Kazakhstan; the Education City of Qatar; and the Bard College in New York State, all of which have agreed to provide accommodation for AUAF students. The campus in Kabul has been occupied by the Taliban.
The American academic community is seeking to mobilize support for Afghan scholars and students.
A letter from the Venture Scholars Network It was signed by more than 1,000 people, urging the U.S. government to take immediate action to help, including “continue evacuation flights for as long as possible” in order to include scholars, students, and civil society actors who support the vision of forward-looking pluralism in the U.S. delegation Accepted Afghanistan. “
The letter said: “We are scrambling to provide assistance to our colleagues in Afghanistan, who are desperately seeking a way out of the country at this time.” “Many people are already in hiding and may soon take dangerous steps to look for crossing land borders. They may not wear uniforms and have never received a salary from the US government, but for most of the 20 years, they have been fighting side by side with the interests of the United States, striving to establish a new, rights-respecting, forward-looking , Knowledge-based Afghanistan. Hundreds of them went to the United States to seek education and returned to their home country, committed to the values of openness and tolerance. These are not Taliban values, so their lives are now in danger.”
The letter calls on the government to take measures to simplify visa processing for Afghans, including suggesting that US embassies and consulates handle visas for Afghan nationals; creating priority processing channels for individuals who can prove that they have a host organization, work, or sponsor in the United States; and exemption A requirement for exchange visa applicants to indicate their intention to return to the country. In the absence of such exemptions, the letter requires the State Department to “issue authoritative guidelines to consulates and border officials that, through a credible, durable and rebuttable certificate that shows willingness to return in the absence of the Taliban, individuals will be able to return and Live safely under the Taliban.”
The letter also called on the government to “establish a dedicated funding flow for scholars, students, and civil society actors from Afghanistan, including men, especially women, and ethnic and religious minorities, for research, scholarships, lectures, and researchers. Positions or temporary academic positions in American higher education institutions are similar to courses created during the Iraq conflict, but on a larger scale reflect the greater threat posed by the withdrawal and subsequent collapse of the Afghan national government.”
Venture scholars help scholars threatened in their home countries find scholarships abroad. The organization reported on Friday that it has received inquiries from nearly 150 higher education institutions that are interested in supporting Afghan students or scholars in a certain capacity. Including more than 30 institutions. Nearly 30 are exploring possible financing options.
The School of International Education is also adopting its Scholar Relief Fund, Another project, provides scholarships from international institutions for scholars who are threatened in their home countries.
IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman (Allan Goodman) said that the Scholar Rescue Fund has received many requests for help. Project staff will submit any requests they receive—regardless of whether they are from qualified academics—to the State Department for their various evacuation lists.
Goodman said that as of Sunday morning, the Scholars Rescue Fund has provided seven emergency grants to Afghan scholars, and he expects “more requests for help this week.”
The difficulty again lies in people arriving at the airport safely.
Goodman said: “Our government forces are looking for safe ways to get people to the airport and boarding gates-none of us can guess that.” “They are doing what they can, and some are doing it.”
IIE also provides a Artist Protection Fund And an emergency student fund for international students who are already in crisis in their home country in the United States.organization Announce Last week, it was accepting nominations from its network agency to provide emergency student aid to up to five international students from Afghanistan or Haiti, which was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake earlier this month.
Ronald Huge, a former associate professor of English at the American University of Afghanistan, said that it is important not only to provide evacuation opportunities for students and scholars, but also for other higher education personnel and their families.
“It is unclear what will happen to maintainers and other employees,” Hugar wrote in a letter he submitted to the editor. Inside higher education He encouraged scholars to ask their university leaders to pressure the Biden government to include support personnel on the evacuation list.
“In my opinion, all schools and organizations that support international higher education in Afghanistan have an obligation to exert as much influence and power as possible to ensure their safety after serving higher education and the Afghan people.”