Friday, 16 January 2009

Quick hit: Educating the Girls of Kandahar

One morning two months ago, Shamsia Husseini and her sister were walking through the muddy streets to the local girls school when a man pulled alongside them on a motorcycle and posed what seemed like an ordinary question.

“Are you going to school?”

Then the man pulled Shamsia’s burqa from her head and sprayed her face with burning acid. Scars, jagged and discolored, now spread across Shamsia’s eyelids and most of her left cheek. These days, her vision goes blurry, making it hard for her to read.

But if the acid attack against Shamsia and 14 others — students and teachers — was meant to terrorize the girls into staying home, it appears to have completely failed.

Today, nearly all of the wounded girls are back at the Mirwais School for Girls, including even Shamsia, whose face was so badly burned that she had to be sent abroad for treatment. Perhaps even more remarkable, nearly every other female student in this deeply conservative community has returned as well — about 1,300 in all.

Read the rest of the article here


Julie said...

I found Shasima's final quote very perceptive:

“The people who did this,” she said, “do not feel the pain of others.”

Thank you for posting this EE.

Julie said...

Sorry, *Shamsia!

Lucy said...

I thought her characterisation of the motivation for the attacks was also cut to the heart of it - "They want women to be stupid things."

Yes, exactly. The kind of people who would perpetrate this sort of attack want women to be things, not people, unable to defend or better themselves. It's got nothing to do with religion or morals. I find it really hopeful that the community in question seems to realise this.