An Afghan teenager who was severely injured in a suicide attack in September has passed her university entrance exams with high marks.
Fatemeh Amiri, 17, lost an eye and sustained severe damage to her jaw and ear when the Kaaj education centre in Kabul was attacked. More than 50 people were killed and dozens injured, mostly female students.
Ms Amiri started studying again while recovering from her injuries and scored more than 85% in her exams. She told BBC News that she would be studying computer science at Kabul university.
Students had been sitting a practice university exam when the bomber struck the tuition centre in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of the Afghan capital. He was reported to have shot at the guards outside the education centre, entered a classroom and detonated a bomb.
Eyewitnesses told the BBC that most of the victims were girls, who were seated in the front row, near the blast. A student who was injured told AFP that there were around 600 people in the room when the attack happened.
Ms Amiri spoke about its impact on her: “On the day of the exam, I was affected by the Kaaj attack – my eye was in pain, I couldn’t see the question papers properly.”
She said losing her eye in the attack only made her stronger: “The tasks I was not able to do with both eyes, now I will do it with one eye.”
Ms Amiri said she is 100% determined to study computer science at university.
Ms Amiri said her teacher helped her to check her results online and found that she had successfully passed her entrance exams. She said she was initially upset at not being among the top 10 highest result achievers.
“I got really sad in the first stage, as I expected to be among the top 10. I didn’t want to see my result afterwards,” she said.
“If I was not among the top 10, one or two other girls should have been there… I am sure there are girls among the top 10, but I don’t know why it was not announced,” Ms Amiri added.
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“Girls’ talent should not be ignored… This is not a setback for girls, they won’t accept defeat.”
Ms Amiri said she would be determined to study regardless: “One hundred percent I will do computer science, I loved it and I am sure I will be able to go ahead with it,” she said.
The Kaaj tuition centre is a private college which teaches both male and female students. Most girls’ schools in the country have been closed since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, but some private schools are open.