Threatened Afghan Scholar Joins UC Davis Law as Visiting Professor

Professor Pamir Hazem recently joined UC Davis School of Law as a visiting professor for one year. He was a professor at Herat University in Afghanistan and is an expert in environmental law in Central Asia. 

When the Taliban took over Afghanistan almost two years ago, Professor Hazem and his Afghan academic colleagues were silenced and then threatened. Due to the dangerous conditions for scholars remaining in Afghanistan, Professor Hazem and his family fled to Pakistan for a year, then moved to Rwanda and, after several more months, were finally able to travel to Davis. 

Professor William S. Dodge and Associate Dean Beth Greenwood worked with former U.S. State Department officials over the past year to bring Professor Hazem to UC Davis Law.  Through the united efforts and generous support of the law school, the Chancellor’s Global Community Fund, UC Davis Threatened Scholars Program, and UC Davis Global Affairs, Professor Hazem and his family have relocated to Davis. 

Although Professor Hazem continues his academic research, he and his exiled colleagues across the globe are engaged in an important new initiative to provide online legal education for women in Afghanistan.   

As Professor Hazem recently explained, “Over the past 20 years, Afghan women achieved great strides in the legal field, and made up 50-plus percent of law students in the three major universities in Afghanistan.” After its takeover, and despite their promises, the Taliban first dismissed all women from their legal jobs and now have closed all universities and law programs to women. In fact, all women remaining in Afghanistan are prohibited from studying in any educational institution and primarily are expected to remain at home. Professor Hazem indicates that he and his colleagues are working on an initiative to provide a legal education online for women in Afghanistan so that the progress these women have attained will not be lost.  

Professor Hazem recently participated in a UC Davis California International Law Center (CILC) Visiting Scholars Roundtable. Professor Hazem spoke about his experiences and the work he and his Afghan colleagues are trying to accomplish on behalf of Afghan women in the legal field. It was difficult for the audience to fully comprehend the extent to which the Taliban have closed off all educational institutions and work opportunities for women. Says Professor Hazem, “There are female attorneys and students who had only this hope, but unfortunately their dream shattered when the Taliban came to power”. 

Professor Hazem will continue to work with his colleagues to keep educational pathways alive and open for Afghan women. In September, CILC will present a talk by Professor Hazem on Afghanistan and the consequences of the Taliban takeover, especially for women in law. 

For additional information, please contact Associate Dean Beth Greenwood at or (530)-219-1530.

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