Kandahari girl is apprehensive over unconditional talks with Taliban
late November evening, Shabnam walked out of her university to a nearby
bookstore to buy a book. On her way back to home, she was wounded in a shooting
incident: a bullet hit her left arm. She was taken to a hospital and doctors at
the hospital advised her to get the bullet take out when her physical condition
Ebrahimi was born two months after the fall of the Taliban in 2002. She is the
first daughter of a Kandahari family in a society where boys are seen as source
of power and even safety. Shabnam’s father Sayed Jamil has taken an unusual and
vigilant approach toward social relationship in a patriarchal society where his
life and relationships are largely dependent on male power and properties.
Mr. Jamil has trained Shabnam to be strong, independent, and confident. According to Shabnam, her father’s decision has given her a deep sense of power and confidence: My father says you should not suffer from the same things as he did.
When Shabnam was injured in the shooting incident, her father’s determination to support Shabnam pursue her higher education faded. He requested Shabnam to give up her dreams of going to university, but, Shabnam did not accept it.
Highly ambitious and confident, Shabnam follows her dreams to graduate from the Law and Political Science of Kandahar University and become a political activist to support and represent women in Kandahar. “I want to become representative of women in Kandahar. The women of this city need supporters and leading people who can support and open up the space for their rights.”
“I want to become representative of women in Kandahar. The women of this city need supporters and leading people who can support and open up the space for their rights.”
Conservative and deeply tribal, Kandahar is a city where girls can hardly graduate from schools. Child marriage is a common phenomenon among most families in Kandahar. Shabnam’s decision to continue her education is an unusual matter which has attracted attention among her relatives. They encourage Shabnam’s family to stop her from going to university.
Shabnam was one of the many young participants of People’s Dialogue for Peace Prospect, a program initiated by the US Peace Institute in Kandahar city.
Kandahar is a province which has served as stronghold of the Taliban movement. In mid 90s a group of madrasa students sprang up in the city and claimed to bring social changes and implement Islamic sharia on fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
a large number of Kandahari population enjoy lavish lifestyle, girls’ education
is still something uncommon in the city. Shabnam goes to university every day
wearing Burqa. She feels uncomfortable wearing Burqa but it is the only
protection for young women in a city where women are bound to obey tribal customs.
helps Shabnam to conceal her identity in a society where most people do not like
For Shabnam education is a key that opens door to her future journey.
on her way back to home from university, Shabnam along with her younger sister
were chased and attacked by two armed men riding a motorbike. They tried to
steal Shabnam’s purse, but she resisted and screamed. The armed attackers
escaped after facing resistance.
hopes that the end of the 40-year war in Afghanistan brings a sustainable peace
and fresh opportunity for women participation in all sectors of the Afghan
don’t want a peace which places more restrictions on women and their freedom,”
The decision makers on the two sides of negotiation table should protect women rights, freedoms, and their future, Shabnam said with a deep sense of apprehension.