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Meet the Swedish principal building student dorms in Afghanistan

Published måndag 16 oktober 2017 kl 09.45
Hamid Zafar: I don't want Afghanistan to be only about asylum seekers
(4:48 min)
En man står på en skolgård med en klocka bakom sig.
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Hamid Zafar in the school yard of Sjumilaskolan in Gothenburg where he is the principal. Credit: Nathalie Rothschild / Radio Sweden
A Swedish flag on a student residence in rural Afghanistan.
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Hamid Zafar raised the Swedish flag outside the student residence he and his father built in Afghanistan's Vardak province. Credit: Hamid Zafar / Private photo
A group of male students in rural Afghanistan.
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Today, 60 students live in the accommodation that Hamid Zafar built in rural Afghanistan. Credit: Hamid Zafar / Private photo

Radio Sweden has met Hamid Zafar, a school principal who objects to the negative image of Afghanistan given by the media and by protesters in Sweden, and who wants to help youths in Afghanistan get an education.

Hamid Zafar is 34 years old and came to Sweden from Afghanistan at the age of five. He and his family moved to Biskopsgården, a Gothenburg suburb that has since gained a reputation for high levels of crime and social exclusion.

Zafar attended the school Sjumilaskolan and today he is the principal there. But he is not only passionate about offering good education to youths in Sweden. Last winter, he and his father embarked on a project in rural Afghanistan, where they have built a student residence to house poor people who want to study at a nearby state university.

Zafar wants to do something about "Afghanistan's brain drain", he says, and he takes issue with what he feels is an overly pessimistic portrayal of the country in Swedish media and among Afghan asylum seekers in Sweden who stage protests in the hope of avoiding deportation to Afghanistan.

Radio Sweden met Zafar at Sjumilaskolan in Gothenburg.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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