• Gali Weiss

return of University Classes

This photograph has been circulating in media sources worldwide. It shows Avicenna University, a private university in Kabul, with a partition between male and female students as new conditions were set in the classroom on 6 September, 2021.

Private universities are starting classes again, but differently to the period before the Taliban takeover.

U tells me that the Taliban have ordered all private and public universities to partition the female and male classrooms or separate their classes. "According to the Taliban, it is a sin for boys and men to see a woman's face, and women should cover their faces outside the home.

Women should cover their face like this. This is me when I was going to the airport [in the attempts to evacuate]."

I wrote to U that at the time of the airport entry attempt I was wondering how she looked. I remember thinking of her wearing a niqab or burqa in the heat of the day. I now asked whether the teachers at the university were only male, and whether there were restrictions on what subjects are allowed.

"Or is it too early to know?"

"Schools have not yet started, and students and faculty have not yet attended regularly at public universities. The picture is of a private university. If the classes are separated, female teachers should be able to teach only to girls and male teachers to boys. Also, several Islamic subjects in each field have been added and instead important and specialised subjects have been removed from the curriculum.

My cousin is studying medicine at a private university in Kabul. Their university was reactivated yesterday. She says their class has been separated and boys are not seen in their class, and embryology and anatomy have been removed from their curriculum, while Islamic themes have been added to their timetable."

My reply text: How can you heal the body without knowing anatomy? I guess this is the beginning – I wonder how will it evolve. Your cousin is brave to continue. I hope she’ll be able to access online videos and information to help her.

"They are trying to add these subjects again to their timetable but I don't know what will happen."

This is a period of waiting in so many ways. The Taliban as governing bodies is still not formed.