Taliban stops at least 100 female students from boarding flight to Dubai

A businessman from Dubai and founder of an aid organization, Khalaf Ahmad al Habtoor, has said that at least 100 female students from Afghanistan who were sponsored by his organization to study at Dubai University were barred by the Taliban from boarding a plane at Kabul Airport on Wednesday.

Al Habtoor who is founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group said travel arrangements for the women were organized by his association and Dubai University.

“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 Dubai University, were unfortunately unable to reach Dubai Airport this morning to continue their studies due to Taliban’s interference. This has left me lost for words to describe the disappointment I currently feel,” he said.

He added that they have been eagerly anticipating this day for a while; after months of ongoing efforts among Al Habtoor Group’s team members to secure university admissions, accommodation, transportation, health insurance, and an array of comprehensive services aimed at ensuring the utmost comfort and safety for the female students, their aspirations were crushed.

He said that Taliban officials, without justification, prevented the girls’ departure, unjustly curtailing their freedom.

“This stands as a profound tragedy, a blow against the principles of humanity, education, equality, and justice. I request all involved parties to quickly step in and help rescue and assist these struggling students,” he said.

The Taliban has not commented on the matter.

This is not the first time women have been stopped at the airport and barred from traveling abroad. Previous instances include barring of women from traveling to abroad without a male companion.