In this interview, San Jose State Professor and UCSC gradate student in Feminist Studies, Halima Kazem, discusses her work getting scholars and journalists out of Afghanistan. Kazem, born in Kabul, tells a harrowing story of her own escape from the country with her family as a toddler, and the torture by the Taliban of associates back in the 1990s.She is supporting efforts to gain educational visas for hundreds of scholars who will be brought to California for academic positions, getting them out of harm’s way. Here is a description of the effort:

UC Santa Cruz is stepping up to respond to the dangerous Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and the urgent need to help at-risk Afghan families flee the country.

Our goal is to raise $100,000 immediately. If we reach $100,000, the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor has pledged to match it dollar-for-dollar to enable emergency travel and placement.

Your gift today to UCSC’s “Afghanistan Visiting Scholars Emergency Fund” will provide critical support to people from Afghanistan who are facing unspeakable horrors.

In active and dynamic collaboration with UCSC associates with ties to scholars and activists in Kabul, our campus is currently working quickly to secure the safe passage and placement of several women and their families.

The people we are working hard to help are predominantly at-risk  academics, journalists, and activists in desperate need. As visiting scholars they would bring to UCSC a wealth of experience and knowledge in human rights, women’s rights, and contemporary politics in Afghanistan. We believe these placements would make it easier for recipients and their families to meet visa requirements for safe entry into the United States.

To donate: