Fleeing in Burqa
10 December 2001
It is now three months from the 11th of September – a historical date for Americans as well as starting point for changes in my country Afghanistan. It was always a question for me and many other Afghans that how the horrible situation and sufferings in Afghanistan can come to an end? When I look at around me, I see each and every of us have been badly affected from conflict in the country in general and from the Taliban’s policy in particular. Millions of people, women and children have been victim of conflict, poverty, discrimination, and injustice.
Did you know that Afghanistan was a country
in this century, where girls were forbidden from going to school? Did you
know that in Afghanistan women was not allowed to work outside their
houses? It is not that this is part of our culture. We used to have female
teachers, Doctors, engineers etc especially in the urban cities.
We were twelve family members who left our
home toward Pakistan the neighboring country. We came across north to
south of the country toward the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We had to cross the frontline – we did so… There were more than 100
children, women and men, all escaping from Mazar, crossing the frontline.
This was achieved because we had money to pay. Around 5 thousand of people were killed in Mazar when we left and tens of people were killed or injured in the frontline.
I have an aunt who used to work for Govt. for many years. She has two children; a son and a daughter. Her husband was killed 15 years back. She made whatever possible to raise her children in the best possible way. Her children were going to school. She was economically self-sufficient. This was continued for her and her family till 1992, when Mujahiddin came to Kabul and internal fighting in the city started. In 1993, her 16 years old son went to Iran to work and find money for them. He started working in a small factory – a heavy and risky job for a child- away from his family. The situation gets deteriorated from Sept. 1996, when Taliban captured Kabul. A painful history started for women, children and all civilians. Women were banned form employment and girls were banned form education. My aunt’s 11 years old daughter could not go to school anymore. Struggles for survival became more difficult.
She was registered as a widow and therefore received food rations from international aid community. This covered their survival needs to food.
The daughter was growing up and was at risk, risk of forced marriage, trafficking etc. She finally decided to marry her 15 years old daughter with her cousin, in order to safe her daughter’s life from being targeted by Taliban.
Time pass on… My aunt has serious psychological problem. She like millions of Afghans was victim of war and in particular Taliban who made the situation worst for her. She suffered more than anyone else in our family because she is a widow and poor. Will her daughter go through the same discriminatory-based suffers too?
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