September 30, 2004
Ambassador Khalilzad and President Karzai Open National Women's Dormitory
Released on October 1, 2004
Released by U.S.Embassy Kabul
U.S. Special Presidential Envoy and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad joined President Hamid Karzai and the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Mohammed Sharif Fayez in officially opening the National Women's Dormitory in West Kabul.
The dormitory was funded with a $9 million contribution from the United States and will provide suitable facilities for more than 1,100 female students, allowing them to participate in various higher education programs in Kabul.
"The Taliban expelled over 1,000 female students from Kabul University and all 50 female lecturers were dismissed. The United States is proud to have helped close that dark chapter in Afghanistan's history. By funding the completion of the Women's Dorm, more than 1,100 female university students will have a safe and secure home. This is a vital investment in Afghanistan's future," said Ambassador Khalilzad.
Khalilzad noted, "Equality of opportunity is essential for Afghanistan to succeed. As you look around the world, it is clear that all successful countries take advantage of the talents and skills of their whole population - women as well as men. As the Afghan nation moves forward it must keep this thought always in mind."
The 182-room dormitory contains bedrooms designed to accommodate six students each, plus kitchen, clinic, laundry and access for disabled students. It also houses a teachers' training institute. The Women's Dormitory will provide the first modern accommodation, specifically designed and constructed for female Afghan students.
"With so many women coming back to school, I say to you, be strong, seize this opportunity, and look forward to your future with courage, resolution, and hope," Khalilzad concluded.