First Afghan scholar Rhodes saved her father and wants to do more – .

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First Afghan scholar Rhodes saved her father and wants to do more – .


OXFORD, England – Five days after the Taliban captured Kabul, Summia Tora began to fear that her father would never leave Afghanistan. She had been up almost 24 hours a day, working from all angles to get him on an evacuation flight. But without a special immigrant visa, he did not receive a call from US officials offering him a coveted seat on a military plane.

“That’s when it really hit me, and it was the first time I ever sat down and cried,” Ms. Tora, 24, recalls, telling the story the week. last. “Because I realized there was no way out for my father. He was stuck.

But Ms. Tora’s father had one advantage that thousands of other desperate Afghans did not: his daughter was a Rhodes Scholar, the first ever to be chosen in Afghanistan. She was able to use her connections at Oxford University and with a foundation funded by Eric Schmidt, the former billionaire Google CEO, to secure seats for her father and an uncle on a non-U.S. Military flight that left Kabul on August 24.

In the coming days, Ms. Tora hopes to find her father in southern Europe. (She asked not to disclose her full name or exact location to protect her safety.) And she has already identified her next assignment – after completing her masters at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford in two months – a mission that she said could occupy her for “most of the rest of my life.” “

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