KABUL, Afghanistan

An Afghan young girl who topped the country’s university entrance examination departed for Turkey on Friday to commence her medical studies in Istanbul.

Shamsia Alizada, daughter of a coal miner, was offered scholarship from Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty in Istanbul to help her pursue studies in her favorite subject. She was also awarded a scholarship from the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, Cengiz Aydemir, education councilor at the Turkish Embassy in Kabul told Anadolu Agency.

“I am very happy and excited to go [to Turkey] and would serve my country upon return as a professional doctor,” said Shamsia in a brief comment before boarding her flight to Turkey.

Caught between a gruesome armed insurgency, crippling poverty and social impediments, the teenaged Afghan girl secured impressive 98% marks – 353 out of 360 – to take the top position among some 170,000 students from all over the war-ravaged country.

The 18-year-old is daughter of the coal miner hailing from the ethnic Hazara minority in Afghanistan.

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