Some places benefit from Taliban rule

Some places benefit from Taliban rule

J60 little faces, framed by white headpieces, look in the direction of the painting. Calculate division by schedule. The teacher asks what happens when you divide 20 into three parts. Fingers extend back. Anxiety increases, and the urge to recall the result passes through the student’s limbs. But the more you look forward, the more confused your expression becomes. The girls between the ages of six and thirteen are sitting together in a small room, crowded together on the floor, every square centimeter occupied. Smaller in the front, bigger and bigger in the back, those girls who finally want to catch up with what they have been denied for years.

It is the last hour of this morning in Alisha, a small village built of mud somewhere in the mountains of Wardak Province, a few hours’ drive west Kabul. The girls don’t have a real school building here, but a room with white walls and an old blackboard, plastic mats on the floor – and above all a teacher. Only a few months ago, Alisha’s girls’ classes began for the first time.

However, it seems a bit paradoxical, since the Islamists came to power Taliban In Afghanistan, the situation has improved for many of the country’s girls and women. While female schoolgirls in the cities were prevented from entering the upper classes and all things female were gradually removed from daily life, remote areas were able to enjoy girls’ education and health care for the first time. Because about 60 percent of the country was “white areas” for international aid organizations, where no projects were possible for security reasons. The state had long since withdrew from those areas where the Taliban had gained the upper hand.

Alisha village in Wardak Province, Afghanistan in July

Alisha village in Wardak Province, Afghanistan in July

Photo: Daniel Pillar

The bumpy dirt path leads to Alisha through endless serpentines, through arid and inhospitable rocky plains, until at some point it appears the green of the orchards. Afghanistan It largely consists of dry, ocher-colored mountainous landscapes. Only when the water comes out of the ground suddenly turns green. Rich apricots, peaches, and grapes grow behind Alisha’s quirky natural stone walls and provide cool shade in the gardens. There is no electricity pole and no telephone connection to the villages here. Life is practically untouched by modernity.


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