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W&L Law Student Returns Home to Afghanistan to Promote Human Rights

Hussain Moin says that he is in the midst of one of the most productive years of his entire life.

Moin, an LL.M. student at Washington and Lee University School of Law who will graduate May 10, says he is motivated by more than just himself and his family—he has the chance to affect a whole country’s well being.

Moin left his hometown of Kabul, Afghanistan last year when he won a scholarship through the Public Private Partnership Program for Justice Reform in Afghanistan to pursue his Masters in U.S. Law at Washington and Lee. He arrived eager to gain valuable experience in order to help the people of Afghanistan.

“My country needs a young generation of professionals to do something for them,” he says, pointing to development, peace, capacity building, and protection of human rights as areas that need improvement.

Moin is no stranger to law or to bettering his country. After graduating from law school at Kabul University in 2003, he worked as a journalist in Afghanistan, producing investigative reports. In 2007, he joined the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), where he monitored human rights in Afghanistan, supporting victims while pressuring the government to respect and protect human rights.

After this year, Moin plans to rejoin the AIHRC in Afghanistan. He believes that earning his LL.M. degree at W&L will help him “provide services for the Afghan people and protect and promote human rights in Afghanistan.”

His scholarship through the Public Private Partnership is one of many provided to promising young Afghan professionals, and he is confident that they can all make a difference.

The journey has been far from easy, as Moin has grappled with vastly different legal systems. Despite these changes and a more intensive workload, he has been comforted by the environment at Washington and Lee. His classmates and professors have been open and kind, which he believes stems from the school’s Honor System.

After less than a year at Washington and Lee, Moin is able to articulate what makes the University so unique. “Everybody trusts you and you trust everybody.” He says that this trust creates a positive and effective learning environment.

Moin believes that higher education is crucial to capacity building in Afghanistan, and that in order to be a good citizen he must work to advance his country.

“A part of our life does not belong to us,” he said. “It belongs to our community.”

This article was written by Michael Agrippina ’15.