Afghan girls bag award at international astronomy competition

Even as the future of their conflict-ridden country hangs in the balance, a group of Afghan girls from the western city of Herat gave their war-weary people something to cheer about when they won an award at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition hosted by Poland which was held online early in July

Jul 19, 2021
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International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition hosted by Poland

Even as the future of their conflict-ridden country hangs in the balance, a group of Afghan girls from the western city of Herat gave their war-weary people something to cheer about when they won an award at the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Competition hosted by Poland which was held online early in July.

The international science competition in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics enables students across the world to prove their skills and show creativity. Participants received certificates, awards, cash prizes, and global recognition.

A total 225 participants and groups from 54 countries attended the competition this year. Members of the Afghan astronomy group--all of whom are girls-- said the achievement will boost their confidence to put more effort toward their goals.

“Our prize was a telescope and a package of other relevant equipment,” Amina Karimiyan, the head of the group, was quoted as saying by TOLOnews.

Behnaz Azizi, a member of the group, said, “Despite limitations that exist in our dear country, we are thinking beyond this and we want to record Afghanistan’s name in astronomy science.”

Some of the girls, part of the group, have been studying astronomy for the last two years.

The award came at a time when the hope for girls’ education is diminishing, amid the wake of a resurgent Taliban following the US and NATO troops' withdrawal. In many areas, recently captured by insurgents, the group has ordered the closure of girls’ schools and strict observance of the Sharia which, in their interpretation, is against girls' education.  

(SAM) 

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