AUAF Alumna, Sweeta Muhammad Ishoq, returned to campus this week to share her experience as the first ever Schwarzman scholar from Afghanistan. Sweeta described her recently-concluded year in Beijing as a Schwarzman scholar as a life-changing experience and encouraged other AUAF students to apply for this prestigious program.
The Schwarzman Scholarship is a highly competitive program designed to promote understanding of China’s global outlook through a year-long program at China’s premier university, Tsinghua University, that leads to a Master of Science degree in Global Affairs. The program is limited to 140 students from across the globe selected from the more than 3,000 students who apply each year.
Sweeta believes that AUAF prepared her well for this incredible platform. She was able develop her English language and critical analysis skills, as well as the leadership skills, which are core criteria for the Schwarzman Scholarship. While a Business Administration major at AUAF, Sweeta helped to found the University Success Club and was an active participant /leader in AUAF activities. Sweeta compares AUAF’s mission with that of the Schwarzman College to educate future global leaders. While at Tsinghua, she was regularly called upon to be an ambassador for Afghanistan, explaining to her global classmates that “Afghanistan is so much more then what is shown on social media platforms and television”.
Sweeta has now returned to Kabul intent upon being a contributor to Afghanistan’s future. She is a women's rights activist especially through her work with the Anna May Project, her writing for the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and her creation of a social enterprise to develop a clothing brand.
She is also serving as a Schwarzman Scholar Ambassador to promote awareness of the program and encourage other Afghan students to apply.
Sweeta models her belief that even through war, Afghans must stay positive regardless of the political situation as a means to improve personal lives and provide the motivation to keep working for a better future for Afghanistan.
AUAF congratulates Sweeta on her accomplishment as Afghanistan’s first Schwarzman Scholar and is proud to count her as one of the University’s distinguished graduates.