The Taliban lifted the ban on education for girls aged 7 to 12 in the Afghan city. The student who challenged the fundamentalists: It wasn’t my scream, it was the scream of a nation
Glimmers of light. The girls aged 7 to 12 returned to school last Saturday in the province of Herat, Afghanistan, almost three months after the Taliban seizing power and banning female students from attending high school. Tolo News reports on Twitter by posting a photo of a female class and specifying that the Herat teacher council states that the decision was made in coordination with the education department. The measure affects 5,000 young people. And the hope that it will soon be extended to the rest of the country, as requested by all international governmental and non-governmental organizations.
The decision would have been made after the mobilization of a student who, who took the stage last October 21 for a brief speech during a ceremony in Herat on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, instead of reading a poem, as expected, amazed and moved the audience con his unexpected appeal to the Taliban to allow girls to study. Today, as a representative of the girls, I want to send a message that comes from our hearts. We all know that Herat is the city of knowledge … so why should schools be closed for female students?, said 15-year-old Sotooda Forotan.
The video of the speech, which went viral on local social media, reignited protests against a ban on girls’ education, which is allowed nationally only in primary schools, and further increased pressure on the Taliban. I was the voice of many women and children, but since the Taliban took over, I had remained silent but worried about what will happen to my goals for the future, Forotan told Rukhshana Media in an interview. So I decided to do something, to represent them again.
Forotan recalled his mother’s tears when he lost his teaching job after 14 years of service. He told how his 7-year-old sister, instead of playing and being happy, now thinks of running away from his country with his 4-year-old brother, already able to recognize the sound of gunfire and bombing at his age. All this gave me the courage to scream in front of the Taliban officials. It wasn’t my scream, it was the scream of a nation, has explained. Although her relatives tended to agree with the Taliban ideology, her father was her biggest supporter, encouraging her to read and become an activist from the tender age of seven. I wanted to become Afghanistan’s first female foreign minister, said Forotan, an avid reader of biographies of successful political women. Even in my sleep, I dreamed of which university I would go to and where I would work, he said.
November 8, 2021 (change November 8, 2021 | 16:04)
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