1. Najaf Waheedi, 32, Afghan Army
“I feel that I am inadequate, powerless and angry when US troops are around. They take control of everything and set their own rules which annoys me. They should start to negotiate more and treat us like colleagues. I do understand the risks they face but as they say ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans’. It’s the other way round in this case.”
2. Abdul Ali, 51, salesman
“Americans have brought corruption to my city. They are pouring money like water into Afghanistan rather than investing it wisely - especially American aid workers. Aid money should be spent on funding Afghan schools and hospitals, not on Westerners’ five-star-hotel bills.”
3. Zakia Hussain, 23, beautician
“My Afghan sisters were robbed of beauty during the harsh years of the Taliban regime. Teenage girls like me were suppressed and forced to wear burqas which made us look like blue ghosts, but now I’ve thrown off the burqa. I was trained at the Kabul Beauty School built and run by American aid workers. Now I have my own beauty salon and also train others so they can have a career like me. This all happened after Americans came to my country.”
4. Habiba, 31, newscaster
“The US has made my life even harder. They have failed to fulfill their promises, and now they’ve appointed the new warlords the Northern Alliance who are worse than the Taliban. The current situation is almost as if Taliban were still running the country. Afghan woman have always faced security risks and I face danger every day but I’m not giving up on my job.”
5. Ahmed Shah, 36, catering
“I got this job when Americans invaded Kabul in early 2002. My manager who I used to work with reopened his catering business, so in way it’s the Westerners who brought peace to the city and I got my job back. Now I work six days a week and the best part so far has been that I’ve learnt to cook some European dishes like pasta, pizza and burgers and some Indian food.”
6. Moona Hussaini, 35, TV director and presenter
“It feels great that I can be of use in a field that’s been my dream since I was a young kid. The American media has been a huge inspiration to me. On the other hand though, I have these questions that people need to re-think: how many troops are here; for how much longer; the cost; the exit strategy; and how the US will know when it’s time to get out of Afghanistan. There are no answers to these questions.”
Women cases ruled as suicide on the rise.
A married teenage girl who was six months pregnant has been found dead in northern Baghlan province with police suspecting it may have been a suicide, Baghlan police told TOLOnews.
The 15-year-old girl, Gul Bibi, was found dead Saturday on a hill in the area of central Baghlan called Chahar Shanba Tapa.
Provincial police commander Shirzad said that the cause of her death is still being investigated although they suspect it was a suicide.
However, police have detained Gul Bibi’s husband who has denied any wrongdoing. He claims Gul Bibi ate mouse poison.
Meanwhile, her father claims that she was killed by her husband, perhaps after he took a second wife, and that other family members were involved in her murder.
He said she was hanged on Friday and was later found with the help of the Baghlan Women’s Affairs Department. They took her to hospital but it was too late.
“Police arrested her husband, but her father-in-law is still free. He told me, “We will kill your remaining children and I don’t care where and to whom you go,” Gul Bibi’s father told TOLOnews.
“I am asking the government and President Karzai that, for God’s sake, if we are your citizens then give us justice.”
Gul Bibi was married two years ago to a resident of Old Baghlan called Anwar, son of Rangin Khan, who physically abused her throughout those two years, according to her father.
Doctors who conducted the post-mortem on Gul Bibi said the cause of her death is still not clear.
It comes a week after two teenage girls were killed in neighbouring Kunduz province.
A 16-year-old girl, Nasrin, was found shot dead at her home in the capital of northeastern Kunduz province two days after another 14-year-old girl, Giseena, had her throat slit apparently for her father’s refusal to give her in marriage.
Nasrin’s death is also being treated as a suicide, police said last week.
Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman.
Abuse in the classroom.
When you interview university students in Afghanistan, you can hardly find anyone who denies sexual harassment in the universities there. Professors teaching at the university are largely responsible for this abuse. You could get full marks or no marks in your exams; it simply depends on how you behave with them. Beautiful and stylish young girls are easy prey.
Women are not completely safe from sexual harassment anywhere in the world, but in Afghanistan, this subject almost never appears in the media. I have interviewed a number of graduate students in Afghan universities- they had different opinions about this matter, but all of them accepted it and related their experiences about the situations they faced.
Fari has bad memories of sexual harassment at the university. She told me, “It is 100% accurate; I myself faced it when I was in the first year of university. I failed in a subject where the teacher put forward some unreasonable demands.”
Sharif Aria, another student says, “We do not like this behavior from our teachers, but all of them are not like that. Some teachers are like spiritual fathers. We live in a society where such treatment is part of the culture and when they get a position of authority, they start abusing it. Since the law is not enforced by the government, we can hardly find a way to stop these people.”
At the same time, the conservative tradition does not allow the girls to talk openly about such issues. For instance, a girl studying at a university in Kabul spoke about how her professor was harassing and teasing her, but she had to leave the university because people made her the subject of their gossip. The professor continues to teach and probably harass other girls.
Haris Jebaran, a university graduate, says,” When I was a university student, some professors even discriminated while they were teaching and tried to favour the girls, expressing a false kindness. But I want to be honest and say that some girls welcome such attitude.” Bunyadullah Mushakhas, another student says he has seen a lot of cases, but doesn’t want to expose anyone, “A number of girls came to me and asked for help. I defended them as much as I could. We are her to struggle.”
A university is a place to learn and it is very shameful for those teachers who still do not know how to treat with their students and how to create a friendly atmosphere where learning takes place.
Author: Marina Zaffari
NATO admitted that it had killed Afghan civilians in an airstrike early Sunday morning, hours after saying there was no evidence of civilian deaths. “A number of Afghan civilians were unintentionally killed or injured during this mission,” the coalition said in a statement accepting “full responsibility for this tragedy.” NATO’s International Security Assistance Force “offers its sincerest regret to the families,” the statement said. The coalition first cast doubt on an Afghan official’s assertion that eight women were killed and seven more wounded in a coalition airstrike Sunday morning in Laghman province. As the day went on, ISAF changed its line, saying it was aware of the incident and the allegations. It finally admitted that the Afghan report was correct. NATO releases details of brazen raid on base in Afghanistan Afghan official Abdul Khaliq Husaine had said women normally go out to collect wood in the night, and that they came under attack in the early hours of Sunday morning.
76 year old Amna Bibi, she sells fruit outside a hospital in Islamabad. She says:
‘I have been selling fruit in this tent for over 15 years as my three sons died while they were young,’. I have no family support and did not want to beg’. ‘I am a Pathan and from where we come, we don’t beg what may come.
Saw the story in the paper today, so much respect for the old lady.
You go, Bibi.
A Local Afghan Woman
An Afghan woman speaks to U.S. Marines assigned to a female engagement team (FET) visiting her home during a patrol in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 30, 2010. FETs assist infantry Marines by engaging women and children in support of the International Security Assistance Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum/Released)
late 20th century Afghan pashtun bride.