Early on Saturday morning, a group of enthusiastic young students at the American University in Afghanistan (AUAF) donned their graduation robes and hats, ready to accept their hard-earned degrees.
As the young Afghan students stood excitedly in neat rows, a young mother among them with her baby, no one had forgotten that less than a year ago this very institute in Kabul was the site of a brutal massacre — a Taliban attack on August 24, 2016 that killed at least 13 students and staff members.
Addressing the students, Kenneth Holland, university president at AUAF, praised their achievement.
“While today, our hearts are still heavy with the loss of faculty members and students, we are heartened by the dedication and courage of our community and the parents of AUAF students and we know that our hard work and sacrifice will have monumental impact,” he said to the 110 young men and women receiving their bachelor and master’s degrees in various subjects including law, business, political science and information technology.
Seven degrees were awarded posthumously to the students who were killed in the 2016 attack.
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