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It was late July of 2002 when I found myself across the table from Robert Finn US Ambassador to Afghanistan He was interviewing me and 40 other girls at the US Embassy in Kabul Afghanistan for a prestigious full undergraduate scholarship in the US At the time I was 17 years old first year medical student at Kabul University and my family and I had newly returned to Afghanistan after twelve years of exile in Pakistan and India due to unrest in my country The interview lasted about 15 minutes and three days later I got a call that I was one of the 5 students selected to come to the United States The scholarship was an unbelievable dream come true I was informed that I would be leaving everyone and everything I knew in less than 15 days Given the short notice I did not know how to take the good news when I only had 20 days between the day that I first heard about the scholarship program and the day that I would be flying out to an unknown place 7000 miles away a place I now call home Having lived under the Taliban regime where women could not go to school in Afghanistan pursuing higher education in a developed and free world was always a dream but I knew my parents could not afford such an opportunity I also knew that because of the turmoil my country was going through and because of the quality of education that I had with outdated books the chances of a scholarship in another country was zero to none therefore I studied hard with limited resources but kept my hopes in check While in exile in Pakistan my schooling was in Farsi language at home however we spoke Pashtu language When I was in 9th grade I became interested in English language and I decided to take beginner English classes after school I
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