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Qatar tribune

Tribune News Network


Qatar National Library (QNL) hosted a crucial meeting of the Alliance for the Education of Women in Afghanistan, which discussed immediate and tangible projects to address barriers that hinder education for Afghan women and girls.

Held under the theme ‘Removing Barriers’, the two-day event served as platform for comprehensive discussions among a diverse range of stakeholders, including national and international member organisations and educational institutions.

The participants are directly engaged in safeguarding access to quality education for women and girls in Afghanistan, while facing the challenges posed by restrictions, resource depletion and economic hardship.

The meeting had a range of distinguished speakers, including Dr Ian Bickford, president of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), as well as notable representatives from the Department of State in Washington DC, the United States Mission to Afghanistan, and USAID.

During the meeting, speakers amplified the voices of learners from Afghanistan, while identifying tangible outcomes, creating a common agenda and timelines, and establishing a shared advocacy agenda with key stakeholders, government representatives and donors. Six focus areas served as the starting point for formulating strategies and content for measurable projects.

With heritage protection identified as one of the focus areas, Stephane Ipert, director of Distinctive Collections at the Library, led discussions on institutional initiatives to preserve and protect Afghanistan’s heritage.

The library collaborates with global organisations in its capacity as the IFLA/PAC Regional Center, working to preserve the region’s cultural heritage.Ipert presented the achievement of an online course organised in Pashto and Dari to raise awareness among the Afghan people about the risk of trafficking in documentary heritage and antiquities.

The Alliance’s working group on heritage protection includes Dr Amr Al Azm from Qatar University and the Athar Project. As part of the meeting, delegates toured the library’s heritage collection, gaining insights into the significance of Afghan cultural property within the broader context of global heritage.

The Alliance - established by the AUAF, the Education for Humanity at Arizona State University, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - aims to enhance access, quality and the scope of educational opportunities, both online and face-to-face, for Afghan women and girls.

The project is led by Dr Victoria Fontan who is provost of AUAF. Future meetings of the Alliance are expected to build on the measurable projects and objectives identified at the forum, in the lead up to the World Refugee Forum in December 2023.

The library regularly hosts educational and informative events that promote the preservation of regional heritage and foster contemporary cultural awareness.

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