Taliban stops female students from flying to Dubai for studies: UAE bizman

Businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor had pledged to help at least 100 female Afghan students and provide them with scholarships in Dubai

The Taliban government has barred 100 Afghan female students from traveling to Dubai for higher education on scholarships, a UAE businessman claimed.

The women were expected to join University of Dubai after the Taliban announced a decision last year to prevent women from joining universities in Afghanistan.

In December 2022, Dubai businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor, founder and chairman of conglomerate Al Habtoor Group, had pledged in December to help bring at least 100 female Afghan students to Dubai.

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Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, on Wednesday, August 23, Al-Habtoor posted a video statement captioned, “I am unable to express the disappointment I feel now as the Afghan female students, whom I had provided an educational scholarship in collaboration with the @uniofdubai presented by Dr Eesa Al Bastaki (the university’s president), were unfortunately unable to reach #DubaiAirport this morning to continue their studies due to Taliban’s interference.”

One of the students sent a voice message to Al-Habtoor saying, “We are now at the airport, but unfortunately the government does not allow us to go to Dubai.”

“Taliban authorities does not allow those who do not have a Mahram (male companion) to travel alone. However, some women were prevented from travelling even though they were accompanied by a male guardian,” the student said. “When they saw the student visa and the student ticket, they didn’t allow us,” she added.

“I don’t know what to do. Please help us. We are so concerned about this matter. I was eagerly awaiting their arrival after months of continuous work to ensure the provision of the scholarships from prominent universities in the UAE,” said the businessman. “Our aspirations have been crushed.”

He described the move as “a great tragedy against humanity and against education, equality and justice.”

He added: “I request all involved parties to quickly step in and help rescue and assist these struggling students.”

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