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AUW Mourns the Unexpected and Sudden Death of a Bright and Beloved Student

Posted on May 31, 2022

Written by AUW

Asian University for Women announces with great sadness the death of one of its students, Ms Zahra Hussaini, on 27 May 2022. Zahra had arrived from Afghanistan in February to join the AUW pre-university program. She had successfully completed the Pathways for Promise course and had been promoted to the next stage. The entire AUW community has been affected by Zahra’s death. AUW wishes to express its grief at her untimely passing and to extend its condolences to her family in Afghanistan.


On the evening that she died, Zahra was participating in an event organised by the AUW Anthology Club, a long-established student society. She was reciting a poem she had written when she suddenly collapsed. A nurse from the AUW Health Center came at once and Zahra was transferred to the nearby Metropolitan Hospital. She arrived at the Emergency Room within twenty minutes after she collapsed. Sadly, the doctors ascertained that she had already died. The AUW Dean of Students, the senior doctor in the AUW Health Center and other senior members of staff responded by coming to the hospital and later to the campus. They worked until late in the night to ensure Zahra’s fellow students were looked after. Zahra’s parents and the Afghan embassy in Dhaka were immediately informed of the loss. The day after Zahra’s death, the students organised a Fateha ceremony for her; this was attended by several hundred of her fellow students. Upon hearing the news, AUW Founder, Mr. Kamal Ahmad, spoke to her family to offer his condolences and to the Afghan student community at AUW to condole her death. He announced that at their father’s request, both Zahra’s sisters would come to AUW and be offered full scholarships. 


On May 29th, as required by law, an autopsy was conducted by the Chittagong Medical College. Once this was completed, the necessary certificates were issued to enable Zahra to be returned to her family in Afghanistan. Zahra’s family has requested that Zahra’s body be transported in the most honourable and respected way to which AUW has committed. Zahra’s family has agreed to meet Zahra in Kabul and take her to the province of Bamyan, where they live, for burial. Kamal Ahmad had hoped to accompany Zahra back to her family. However, in light of the family’s call for immediate transfer of the body and at Zahra’s family’s request, Kamal will visit with the family later in the month.


Only the full autopsy report will confirm the cause of Zahra’s death. This will be sent to AUW by the government agencies. The University has been informed that some routine chemical pathology tests will take some days to complete. As soon as the cause of death is known, the information, with the agreement of Zahra’s family, will be made public.


As soon as further information is available it will be made public both to the AUW community and to all other interested parties. Any inquiries should be addressed by email to Mr. Suman Chatterjee, the AUW Dean of Students:


Again, our loss of Zahra is a cause of inexpressible pain and grief. We pray for her soul and for the consolation of her family and other loved ones.