Yesterday, I think about you, too, have been gripped by the information, because the Taliban seized management of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. People fled their properties to disguise, or tried desperately to escape, even clinging to the wings of departing airplanes.
During the chaos, the New York Times’ Daily podcast communicated with R., a 33-year-old Afghan lady residing in Kabul.
“My country is falling on her knees, and no one is taking any action,” she sobbed into the recorder. “The whole world is just watching.”
Growing more and more distressed, she described the autumn of Kabul: “To the world, it’s just a city that collapses, but to me, it’s not just a city… There are thousands of souls that collapse. There are millions of dreams that collapse. Our history, our culture, our art, our beauty, our lives collapse.”
Of course, as R. emphasizes, there’s a lot to lose. Over the previous 20 years — ever for the reason that defeat of the Taliban in late 2001 — Afghan ladies have achieved a rare quantity. They’ve graduated from universities and graduate colleges; efficiently run for Parliament; owned bakeries, salons and shops; labored as medical doctors, ambassadors, journalists, bankers, ministers, the record goes on.
Now, as soon as once more underneath Taliban rule, what’s going to life appear to be for these ladies and women? In the Nineties and early 2000s, when the Taliban was beforehand in energy, ladies have been required to put on burqas in public. Women weren’t allowed to go exterior with out a male family member. Women weren’t allowed to work exterior the house. Women weren’t allowed to attend faculty after the age of 8. Women have been banned from voting. Some ladies and women have been compelled into marriages. These guidelines primarily made ladies prisoners in their very own properties.
“Perhaps the silence of life under the Taliban sits with me more than anything,” photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who has lined Afghanistan for twenty years, writes in the Atlantic. “There were very few cars, no music, no television, no telephones, and no idle conversation on the sidewalks. The dusty streets were crowded with widows who had lost their husbands in the protracted war; banned from working, their only means of survival was to beg. People were scared, indoors and out. Those who were brave enough to venture out spoke in hushed voices, for fear of provoking a Taliban beating for anything as simple as not having a long-enough beard (for a man) or a long-enough burka (for a woman), or sometimes for nothing at all.”
Back on the Daily podcast, R. mourned Afghan ladies’s progress over the previous 20 years. “Just forget about the sacrifices we made, the things that we worked so hard for,” she wept. “Now it’s just a matter of saving your life.”
But some cling to hope. “The Taliban is taking territory,” Afghan activist Shukriya Barakzai advised Addario, “but not the hearts and minds of people.”
If you possibly can, please be a part of us in donating to Women for Afghan Women, a grassroots civil society group devoted to defending and selling the rights of Afghan ladies and women. A reader named Hanna beneficial following the reporter Stefanie Glinski on Twitter. Please share different doable methods to assist, if you’re knowledgable in this space. Thank you a lot. xo
(Photo of a yoga class in Kabul on Saturday by Kiana Hayeri/The New York Times.)
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