The biggest challenge was that of re-building the totally destroyed education system from the bottom up and from the top down. The education system reformed by the Soviets to include the masses had never been fully operational. Educational opportunity was left largely to those who had access to urban areas where even girls were allowed to attend schools at the university in Kabul where co-educational classes had been the Soviet policy. However, by the end of the Civil War and certainly by the end of the Taliban rule, the universities had been destroyed and were barely functional when offering classes at all. As described earlier, faculty had fled or were dead, buildings were gutted and marauded. Campuses were denuded either by soldiers trying to eliminate hiding places for opposition forces, or by civilians seeking firewood. Furniture was stolen and broken up to use for home heating; equipment was looted; even the electrical wiring was stripped from buildings still standing and taken for sale in the black market. Libraries and laboratories were ghostly artifacts attesting to the destruction of symbols of learning.As the attempt to re-open universities began in 2002, the flow of citizens from the country began to reverse with many Afghans returning from refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran or from other countries in which they were exiled including the United States, Canada, Iran, Great Britain, Germany and other countries. Some of these returning were able to take positions of leadership in the new government headed by President Karzai in a democratic election, and some were capable of restoring the universities and the schools. Stories from students who began to study again at Kabul University tell of walking across human bones on the tall grasses of the university campus that had earlier been a site of warring groups.