Is the alphabet called the alphabet because the first two letters in the Greek alphabet are alpha and beta?
Are there literally 75,000 people who did not realize this?
My name is Nilab Nusrat. I am 18 years old. I was born and raised in Afghanistan, and am currently a scholarship student at Putney School, Vermont.
I came to the United States through Women for Afghan Women — they found me in Kabul women’s prison. I was there because my mom was arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, and in my country, kids are thrown in prison with their mothers. This organization took me in, gave me an education and taught me that kindness exists in the world.
Because I was bold and outspoken, I was chosen to come to New York to speak at the organization’s 10th anniversary gala in 2011. I talked about my personal struggles and the work of Women for Afghan Women and received a standing ovation from the entire audience which included Gloria Steinem. With the help of Women for Afghan Women, I interviewed at The Putney School in Vermont and was awarded a three-year scholarship. In January 2012, my life was transformed—-I was a sophomore at Putney.
I have had an amazing experience at Putney. I have maintained a 3.7 GPA and have taken all kinds of classes from History and Economic to Precalculus and Jewelry making. My need for financial aid is immense (I have no financial support whatsoever). I have been accepted at Agnes Scott College, a private all women’s college in Atlanta providing excellent academic opportunity and support. They have generously offered me $19,000 in financial aid, but I will need $30,000 more to go there. Financial aid for international students is very scarce, and I am lucky to have this offer. And I have no other options except to give up my student visa and go back to Afghanistan.
From a very young age, I had strong views and was full of questions. While I was lucky enough to go to school in Afghanistan, girls were not encouraged to speak up, ask questions or share ideas. In the United States, students are encouraged to ask questions. Here, in every class I take, and in every conversation outside class, I can debate important issues. Thanks to the education I am receiving, I am learning to back up my opinions with facts and logical arguments. Studying at a school with such a diverse student-body is teaching me about the struggles of people for their rights all around the world.
If I go back to Afghanistan now, I know I won’t be able to continue my education. I’ll be married off for sure. And my dreams will become dust.
I am hungry for education — in my senior year, I have enrolled for as so many classes that I have school from 6:30 am to 9 pm! I am committed to serving my own homeland once my education is complete. My goal is to become a lawyer or politician and change laws that are unjust. Just as women helped me, I wish to help other women and children who have have no one to help them.
Please help me raise the money I need to go to University in September, and make my dream come true.
Nilab is one of my dearest friends.
Can we signal boost the shit out of this, people?
To be white, or straight, or male, or middle class is to be simultaneously ubiquitious and invisible. You’re everywhere you look, you’re the standard against which everyone else is measured. You’re like water, like air. People will tell you they went to see a “woman doctor” or they will say they went to see “the doctor.” People will tell you they have a “gay colleague” or they’ll tell you about a colleague. A white person will be happy to tell you about a “Black friend,” but when that same person simply mentions a “friend,” everyone will assume the person is white. Any college course that doesn’t have the word “woman” or “gay” or “minority” in its title is a course about men, heterosexuals, and white people. But we call those courses “literature,” “history” or “political science.”
This invisibility is political.—
Michael S. Kimmel, in the introduction to the book, “Privilege: A Reader” (via thinkspeakstress)