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ATTAL NANGYALAI

Biography

Born to illiterate parents, Attal was encouraged to pursue his education. His mother also helped him see the value in sharing his knowledge with others and motivated him to establish the first school for girls in their rural valley when he was just 14. Teaching and continuing his own education, Attal graduated from high school and went on to study at Kabul Education University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature. He is a United Nations’ Youth Courage Awardee, a World at School Ambassador, and a Fulbright Scholar alumni. He was also selected as one of twelve emerging leaders in Asia by the Asia Foundation Development Program. Upon returning to Afghanistan, he resumed working for the International Labor Organization as a National Expert on Jobs Policy/Decent Work and founded a nonprofit organization for promoting girls education in rural Afghanistan, Hode Educational and Social Services Organization (HESSO). Attal had to temporarily leave Afghanistan in June 2021 to guarantee his safety as the Taliban advanced and took over the national government. He is currently residing in the U.S. as a 2021 Echidna Global Scholar with Brookings Institution, as he and HESSO coordinate with implementing partners on the ground in Afghanistan (Pen Path Civil Society) to deliver critical education supplies, food and water, salaries to female teachers and other necessities.