Latest Updates on 100 Scholarship Granted by Khalaf Al Habtoor To Afghan Female Students

In December 2022, Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor announced an initiative to provide 100 scholarships for Afghan female students at promiment universities in the UAE; this humanitarian endeavor arises amidst the current challenges in Afghanistan, with the primary goal of offering educational opportunities and crucial support to young women in the region and strengthening the country’s international forums. Khalaf Al Habtoor, in collaboration with the University of Dubai, has bolstered this noble endeavor by providing all the necessary services and provisions essential for the successful execution of this initiative. These include university admissions, secure accommodations in fully furnished private residences equipped with all the required amenities. These residences are managed by women to ensure the utmost privacy. Additionally, transportation, catering, health insurance, and security measures are in place to ensure the highest levels of comfort and safety for students, fostering an optimal learning environment.

However, the initiative was abruptly halted due to the intervention of Afghan authorities in Kabul airport. As a result, Afghan female students, who were set to depart on Wednesday morning on August 23, 2023, from Kabul airport and travel to Dubai, were prevented from boarding the plane, even in the presence of their “Mahram” – male relatives. This occurred despite their completion of all admission procedures for enrollment at the University of Dubai, even though all necessary protocols and procedures for leaving Afghanistan have been completed.

Khalaf Al Habtoor, founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group, commented earlier today: “I was eagerly awaiting their arrival, as was my team at the Al Habtoor Group, after months of continuous work to ensure the provision of the scholarships from prominent universities in the UAE. I find myself unable to express the
disappointment I currently feel. This is a significant tragedy against humanity, against education, equality, and justice. I appeal to all relevant parties for urgent intervention to rescue and assist these students.”

It’s important to note that Afghan female students were chosen with care to study at the University of Dubai and Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences. In the initial phase of the initiative, 81 female students were chosen to study at the University of Dubai, with plans to include the remaining students in subsequent stages of the initiative; and entry visas were granted to 68 of them, with coordination from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Bookings were made for 63 flight tickets from Kabul Airport, with their expected arrival at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at 11:05 AM Dubai time. This was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the support from Dubai Airport, Dubai Police, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. These measures aimed to ensure a smooth arrival and reception by providing the necessary facilities.

This initiative is founded upon a profound humanitarian vision, emerging against the backdrop of the challenging circumstances prevailing in Afghanistan. Our aspiration is to create a pathway that secures the fundamental right to education for the young women of Afghanistan.