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Remarkable journey from refugee to Rhodes Scholar

By ITS Education Asia


ChalkFace likes to share stories about remarkable people in the area of education. Summia Tora is one of those people

Growing up as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan, bloodshed was never far from Summia life. From her home — a single bedroom in a house shared by four families — she could hear the sound of drones landing not far from Peshawar, in northwest Pakistan, where her family had fled in the 1990s to escape the Taliban's rise. "I was just living in this violence, but it was a given, so I couldn't do anything about it," Summia says. Sometimes there were bombings once or twice a week.

On a visit to Kabul in 2002, just after the US invasion, a girl not much older described only being able to attend school by pretending to be a boy. Summia was six, but she remembers it clearly. She vowed then that she would to take learning seriously. In October, Summia, now 22, will become the first Rhodes Scholar to hail from Afghanistan, one of 102 students to earn a place in the 2020 class of the world's oldest postgraduate scholarship.

A great story. Well done Summia. We all here at The Chalkface wish you the best with your future.


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