She loves reading, writing, and meeting other kids and teens. But Soumaya is not allowed. The Taliban will punish them severely. They closed all secondary schools past sixth grade for girls shortly after taking power in 2021. And so she’s been stuck at home for nearly 500 days. In an interview, the young Afghani appeals to all the other girls to try to study as much as possible at home so that one day they can stand up for their rights.
“I’m here to tell the world about your pain and I hope you understand how I feel. I beg everyone, please get up and intercede for us. It doesn’t matter if you can’t take to the streets with us to protest. I’m just trying to learn. Learn. So we can leave this place one day.” Write, read and help me. I need your help.”
As she spoke, tears were running down her cheeks. The fact that we take for granted that all children can go to school has been taken away from her and all other girls. They are reduced to stupidity by the Taliban, who send their daughters to school and university.
► Ismail Meshaal is the one who took a stand early on. He works as a professor and runs a private university in Kabul, and when the university ban on women came, he closed it and tore up his diplomas on a live broadcast.
“As of today, I no longer need these certificates because this country is not a place for education. If my sister and mother are not allowed to study, I will not accept my education either.”
Incredibly brave move!
I invite all parents to take their daughters by the hand and bring them to school even when the gates are closed. Even if they were not allowed to go, they still had to do it every day. It’s the least they can do to prove that they are men. I don’t say it out of emotion, I say it out of pain. Men must stand up and defend the rights of Afghan women and girls.
So far, Professor Ismail Meshal belongs to a minority.