Writer: Negita Zafarian (a tenth-grade student at a private school in Kabul)
With the return of the Taliban and their mistreatment of women and the barring of girls from education and work, women’s hopes and plans have been replaced with despair. The new generation and educated girls, who were trying to create a better future for their peers, were trapped at home by the extremist Taliban.
Staying at home is a death sentence for me and my peers, who have always strived to build an ideal society, I, as a student, have been lost in the daily routine of my home, doing only my daily chores in less than five months since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. I think this is exactly what the Taliban want.
I keep my school uniform ready for when I need it again, I feel sad about seeing my books, bags, shoes, and school uniform untouched and lying in the corner of the room. I do not think they will allow us to continue our education as long as the Taliban are in power. If they allow, the possibility of women working and being present in society is still in question.
Every morning when I wake up, I remember how my classmates and I would gather in the schoolyard and sing the Afghan national anthem. I get more frustrated every time I remember those days. When I look at the joys and hopes of my past and think of the dark future under the Taliban, I only wish my hands were so big that I could turn the carousel of life in favor of the poor people of this territory.
All we girls hope for is a brighter tomorrow. But to reach a bright tomorrow, we are anticipating hands to untie the knot of our vague work.
Today, I received the tenth-grade result sheet of the school. Yes, I am the top student. This success made me happy for a moment. But it was a moment, just a moment. When I thought about how to get first in the 11th grade, I remembered that I do not have the right to go to school. I returned my mind to the status quo of my society and a cloud of despair overshadowed me. What does it means that Afghan girls are not allowed to study more than the sixth grade?
We call on the international community and the United States to free me and other Afghan girls from this social prison. You do not need to evacuate all Afghan women, just break the bars of this prison that the Taliban built to restrict us.
A human being is a social and an explorer creature. Life without education has no meaning for us. Please force the Taliban not to hinder the growth of hidden talents in this land.
It is very difficult for me to raise my voice in the current situation under the Taliban. I will be repressed by the Taliban, as they have violently disrupted women’s rallies in Kabul in recent months. But it would be logical for women to raise their voices in every way and at every opportunity so that the world can hear our repressed and unheard voices. Maybe a knot is untied or a bar will be broken from this prison so that at least we can achieve the conditions we had and lived in yesterday (before the Taliban).
Translated by: Jahan Raha