The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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Interact Club supports Afgan engineer

On November 28, 19 year old Saghar Salehi visited LOHS’s Interact Club to recount her story and share the challenges she endured with her all-girls robotics team during and after their departure from Afghanistan in 2021, due to threats from the Taliban. The team had previously participated in major global robotics competitions, earning an award for “courageous achievement.” One student in attendance was Interact Club’s president, junior Emel Alhumaid.

Alhumaid summarized that Salehi and her fellow team members had no choice but to flee their home country in hopes of securing shelter, after risking everything to bring a sense of power and hope to Afghan women.

“Unfortunately In 2021 when the Taliban took over, they had to flee Afghanistan,” Alhumaid explained. “The Taliban does not support women getting an education, or pursuing what they’re interested in.”

Alhumaid was touched and highly inspired by Saghar’s live account of her story. 

“She was just the sweetest person I’ve ever met, and her bravery was so impressive,” Alhumaid described. “She got up in front of high school kids and adults and spoke passionately in her second language.”

Alhumaid elaborated on the team’s escape from their home country, in hopes of securing safety and a more abundant access to further education, along with their determination throughout the situation.

“Their team continued to do what they wanted to do, and be strong in the face of that,” Alhumaid said. 

Alhumaid recognized the disadvantages the girls faced during competitions, and their creativity and eventual accomplishments.

“Their team was not given the tools that many of the teams competing in the world robotics competition were given,” Alhumaid said. “So they had to make their stuff on their own … they had to build it all.”

Additionally, Salehi, now relocated to California, wished to further her education but faced challenges related to the costs of her tuition.

“The Lake Oswego Rotary Club is paying for the room and board costs, for traveling to U of O,” Alhumaid said. “They said they would waive her tuition fees if she could pay for it.”

Donations to fund Saghar’s education at the University of Oregon can be made out to the Lake Oswego Rotary Club using the QR code below.

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