Sayed Rahmatullah Hashimi
Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi is a former envoy of the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Also known simply as Rahmatullah, he is currently enrolled in the Non-degree Students Program at Yale University. In July 2006 it was announced that his application to pursue a bachelor’s degree had been rejected by Yale’s Eli Whitney Program.
In 1994, the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, and the 16-year old Rahmatullah joined them in Kandahar, Afghanistan as a computer operator and later, thanks to his language skills, as translator. He was appointed to the position of diplomat in the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan in 1998. In 1997, Rahmatullah was present when CNN’s Peter Arnett interviewed Osama Bin Laden.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Rahmatullah’s family fled to Pakistan to escape the imminent U.S. retaliation. He lived in Quetta, Pakistan, for most of the next three years, reading astronomy books, playing with his young children, and completing his unfinished high school education.