Maiwand spent time at Birmingham after applying for a Chevening Fellowship funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Having just completed his undergraduate degree in law and political science, the programme available at the University was particularly appealing.
He adds: ‘Studying at Birmingham was very inspiring. It showed me that there was a lot to learn and how many opportunities were out there. I feel I’ve come of age in the past 15 or 20 years and want to play my part within my generation of rebuilding my country.
But for Maiwand Rahyab (Chevening Fellow: Democracy, Rule of Law & Security, 2006) the experience of living under Taliban rule played a large part in shaping his determination to improve the fortunes of his countrymen and women.
Growing up in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Maiwand had witnessed the effects of the devastating civil war that left much of the country’s population as refugees. The Taliban then took control in 1998 and immediately imposed a draconian version of Sharia law, including brutal oppression of women.
Maiwand says: ‘When I was in high school, I and a group of classmates wanted to plant some trees in our schoolyard. From there we began to help out young children in kindergarten, providing them with opportunities to play sport and access schoolbooks.
Previously on Ismailimail…
University of Miami School of Architecture: Presentation by Brigitte Shim, Steering Committee Member of Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2016
Responses to the war in Syria: Aga Khan Museum partners with Silkroad, arts organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma