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Bayat chairman lays first brick of STEM unit at Kabul school

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(Last Updated On: October 28, 2020)

Chairman of the Bayat Foundation, Dr Ehsanullah Bayat on Saturday laid the first brick at the groundbreaking ceremony for a new STEM Center that will be built by the foundation at the Michelle Bayat Sara Miyasht High School in Kabul. 

An estimated $500,000 will be spent to build the center which once complete will provide students with direct access to an innovative, practical learning environment for STEM subjects including science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

“The center will be established for young people to learn through new methods, through creativity, critical thinking, and better leadership. It will also provide access for them to automated machines, drones, and other advanced devices along with computer programming,” Dr Bayat said. 

Marking the inauguration of construction, Dr Bayat also distributed winter clothes to needy students at the school, located in the Afshar area in PD5 of Kabul city, along with school shoes, school bags, and stationery. 

Also attending the ceremony were government officials and representatives from the Afghan Red Crescent Society.

Feedback from the guests was very positive and many said students who graduate from the school in the future will be able to use what they have learned to work for a brighter future for Afghanistan. 

Afghan Red Crescent Society’s acting managing director Mirwais Akram said: “Students are here who will take advantage of this opportunity in the future, indeed, it benefits Afghanistan.”

The organization’s secretary-general Neelab Mubariz stated: “The center will help train the youth who will be able to address the needs of Afghanistan within the next ten years.”

Michelle Bayat Sara Miyasht High School students meanwhile expressed their excitement and said the new center will make an enormous difference for them and make it easier for them to get into university once they had graduated from high school. 

One student, Farmina, said: “We do not have such technology at the moment to gain theoretical and practical lessons.”

The Bayat Foundation is dedicated to the health, education and well-being of the people of Afghanistan, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, or religion, by providing for those in-need and unlocking the potential of widows, women, children, youth and men through programs and partnerships.

The foundation has over the past 14 years, since its establishment in 2006, worked hard to provide quality healthcare for women and newborns, increase access to education through new or refurbished schools, encourage economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, provide social justice, help strengthen families, establish competitive sporting events and worked hard to cement cultural preservation.

To date, the foundation has helped hundreds of thousands of needy families in all 34 provinces in Afghanistan.

 

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Renegades signs Afghan teenager for Australia’s Big Bash League

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

Australia’s Melbourne Renegades have signed up 15-year-old Noor Ahmad after a 12-month scouting mission and plan to unleash him on the Big Bash League later this year. 

Earlier this week Renegades confirmed Mohammad Nabi had also signed up and on Thursday, the club announced on its website, 15-year-old Noor Ahmad, from Kabul, will also join their team. 

“We’ve been tracking Noor Ahmad closely for more than a year now and although he’s in the early stages of his career, he’s an exciting prospect and he has a few tricks that’ll make life difficult for batsmen,” Renegades Coach Michael Klinger said. 

Ahmad is a left-arm wrist-spinner who has earned high praise around the globe.

Ahmad earned a contract in the Caribbean Premier League earlier this year and won a T20 trophy under Mohammad Nabi’s captaincy in 2019.

“The Renegades fans and followers of the Big Bash may not know much about Noor at this stage but I can tell you, he is a very exciting talent who I feel has a big future in the game,” Nabi said.

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Khalilzad meets with Taliban’s Baradar, discusses increase in violence

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

US special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met with Taliban deputy leader Abdul Ghani Baradar in Doha on Wednesday night to discuss a range of issues relating to the Afghan peace process, including the high levels of violence. 

In a series of tweets by the Taliban’s Doha spokesman, Mohammad Naeem, Khalilzad was accompanied by US Forces Afghanistan commander General Scott Miller.

Naeem said the discussion centered around a number of issues and talks were held on the full “implementation of the whole articles of the agreement signed between the IEA [Taliban] and the US”.

He also said the release of remaining prisoners was discussed as was removing names of Taliban members from the US’ blacklist. 

According to him, the increase in hostilities was discussed and attributed the high levels of violence to a number of factors. He said the “humiliation of the martyrs’ bodies” was one reason, as was that of raids carried out against released prisoners and “their killing”. 

He also said, “offensives and the violation of the agreement overall were reckoned the causes that don’t lead the circumstances to a good direction.”

Khalilzad returned to Doha earlier this week to meet with negotiating teams in Doha to press both sides to immediately reduce the levels of violence that Afghan civilians are forced to bear. 

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the US State Department: “Too many Afghans are dying. The sides urgently need an agreement on a reduction of violence leading to a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.” 

“Along with international partners, Ambassador Khalilzad will press the two negotiating teams to accelerate their efforts and agree to a political roadmap that ends Afghanistan’s 40-year-long war. The sides must move past procedure and into substantive negotiations. American and international assistance remains available to all sides,” the statement read. 

Khalilzad meanwhile said in a series of tweets on Tuesday night that he returns “to the region disappointed that despite commitments to lower violence, it has not happened.”

“The window to achieve a political settlement will not stay open forever,” he said.

“Intransigence and a refusal to abandon animosity, embrace fellow citizens, and agree on a formula for political cooperation/competition underpin the ongoing war.”

Khalilzad said: “Afghans are dying at a high rate, and regional spoilers are using Afghans as cannon fodder for their illegitimate objectives.  Bloodshed must end.

“Afghans need to pivot to development instead of destruction, stability instead of chaos, forgiveness instead of vengeance, compromise instead of inflexibility,” he said.

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Bajwa warns Pakistan and Afghanistan ‘can’t afford chaos’

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(Last Updated On: October 29, 2020)

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa said on Wednesday that Afghanistan and Pakistan could not afford the risk of lawlessness and chaos as such a situation would have catastrophic consequences for both countries.

Speaking during his visit to a hospital in Peshawar to visit victims of Tuesday’s bombing at a madrassa that killed at least seven people, including children, and wounded more than 100, Bajwa said that Afghan refugees in Pakistan should exercise caution about unfavorable elements so that they were not wittingly or unwittingly used in terrorist activities, Dawn News reported. 

He said Pakistan has always wanted peace in Afghanistan and would spare no effort to restore peace and stability in the country.

Bajwa also said Pakistan and Afghanistan had faced terrorism for the past two decades but that peace in both countries was intertwined.

Tuesday’s explosion happened as a prominent religious scholar was giving a special class about the teachings of Islam at the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia madrassa, police confirmed. 

Some Afghan students studying at the seminary were also among the wounded persons, officials said.

 

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