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11.17.21

WASHINGTON – Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) released a statement today after the last group of Afghan National Institute of Music (ANIM) students and teachers and their families reached Qatar safely. security after escaping Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Since taking the country in August, the Taliban have banned non-religious music and imposed restrictions and widely banned girls from going to school.

“Symbolizing women’s rights and freedom of expression, these young musicians represented the hope of a free Afghanistan. said Dr Cassidy. “The events they must have gone through after the fall of Kabul are heartbreaking. We are grateful to Qatar, Portugal and everyone we have worked with to bring these children to safety. ”

For months, Cassidy’s office participated in efforts to help the 272 young musicians, teachers, and staff escape to freedom. When the ANIM students were on buses waiting outside Hamid Karzai International Airport during the chaos of the mass evacuation, Cassidy attempted to get them through the gates. He made an effort to send messages to the airport commanders in an attempt to gain entry for the students. After the airport was cordoned off following a deadly ISIS attack, he advocated for the students as paperwork issues became an issue and he worked with the Qatari government on several occasions. to ensure safe passage for students.

Qatar played a crucial role in helping the group to evacuate Afghanistan. In addition, Portugal offered the school refuge with official residence.

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