Yesterday, Michael Adams pointed me to this great story in the Globe and Mail about the Masoda Younasy – the granddaughter of Afghanistan’s former king, Mohammad Zahir Shah – who, because she created and ran her own construction business, advocated for reform and mused about entering politics has had death threats hurled against her.
In an extraordinary move, Canada has offered her a permit to live here while her life is at risk. A fantastic start.
So what does she want to do? According to the article:
…her aim is to attend a Canadian university and obtain a political-science degree she might some day put to use in her home country.
What an amazing opportunity. Not only for Ms. Younasy, but for Canadians and, more specifically, the university smart enough and agile enough to offer her a speedy enrollment. My own preference is that Queen’s, which is home to the Centre for the Study of Democracy, might make her an offer. Here is a women keen on bringing democracy and opportunity to a country that has seen little of either – her goals couldn’t be more aligned with those of the institution and her perspective and experience would greatly enrich the discussions in all her classes.
These are the types of opportunities that are easily missed, often because the long term opportunities and benefits – to the student, the university and the country – get trumped by bureaucracy and lack of vision. Well, for those who wonder if it is worthwhile, take note that unwittingly done something similar before and everyone was better off because of it.