Thirteen years after the fall of the Taliban regime, there have been tangible gains for Afghan women. My earliest memory was of war. I remember the sound of a rocket and then the windows all breaking. I went to school until I was 18 and my happiest memory was when I graduated and was holding my certificate in my hand.
Adnan R. Khan: With the U. Meanwhile, Canada is more interested in playing whack-a-mole with terrorism than doing the hard work of helping a country devastated by it. By Adnan R. Khan April 20, Unlike the usual phishing calls a woman might receive in Afghanistan, where lonely men randomly dial a mobile phone and hope a female voice picks up, these calls were from women—and they knew her name.
For many young Afghans like her, was not the year a deadly virus swept through their country but the year they became the targets of an unprecedented assassination campaign.
Does she live alone? It was supposed to be the third instalment of the yearly exhibition, celebrating the strength and power of Afghan women.
But this year, Akbar felt powerless, and her strength had been drained. Since the U. According to a recent United Nations report, civilian deaths, particularly the targeted killings of journalists, intellectuals, professionals and civil society leaders, many of them women, spiked in September, after the Afghan government opened peace negotiations with the Taliban.
This year, more than 60 people have been assassinated.
They were hopeful and energized; and they were pleading with the international community not to abandon them. Today, many of them have left Afghanistan, or are planning to leave.
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On a near daily basis, I hear about another businessperson or young Afghan scholar arriving in Istanbul. Every week, there is a gathering where these young people tell stories about the threats they face, about the sticky bombs attached to the undercarriages of cars, about the friends they have lost. The assassination campaign follows a pattern, one journalist requesting anonymity because she plans to return to Kabul told me.
The implication is that the Taliban are convinced they have won the war and are now eliminating any potential opposition. With the May 1 deadline for the U. After two weeks in Delhi, clearing her mind and building up her courage, she returned to Kabul, determined to complete her exhibition. Akbar decided to dedicate the exhibition to eight Afghan women who have been killed in recent years.
In a video installation, she delivers a speech to those killed by the Taliban and other extremists, each lost life represented by an empty chair cradling a picture of the deceased and a burning candle. I wish I could say humanity is kinder, more compassionate, more loving. I wish we never lost any of you.
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