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Shajar-e-Ilm (Tree of Knowledge)


Shiza Shahid, a 20-year-old Stanford student, took Taliban denial of girls’ education into her own hands last year after the violent insurgents shut down all girls schools in the Swat Valley, Pakistan, only 100 miles away from where she grew up. Shahid’s anger drove her to mobilize assistance to 26 girls, who joined her last summer in Islamabad for workshops and emotional relief. Waves of violence in the Swat Valley had left schools burned, family members abducted and in some cases, murdered. The project, Shajar-e-llm, or Tree of Knowledge, was kept quiet in order to protect the girls from further threat.
VIDEO: Tree of Life Program

  • VIDEO: A Schoolgirl’s Odessey in Swat
  • As the din of controversy continues to rage on the question of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and drone operations in the border with Pakistan, we often miss the realities of what families there on the ground actually contend with. See Multimedia Content here for “A Schoolgirl’s Oddessey,” the New York Times VIDEO featuring a young girl torn from her school in Swat, and forced to journey away from all that she loves.


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    Filed under Culture  |  Comments: 0 | Posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

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