Aisha Bibi: “If I could get through my darkest hours, you can”

Interviewed by the actress Angelina Jolie for TIME magazine, the Afghan woman, Aisha Bibi, who was forced into marrying a Taliban fighter aged 14, fled her abusing husband, was taken captive by the Taliban and had her nose mutilated, has spoken of her desire to help people.

Living in Maryland in the US and studying to become a nurse, Aisha Bibi said: “I want to become a nurse to help people. I’ve had 31 surgeries, which means I have a lot of experience in the medical world. I want to help people who are hurting and say to them, if I could get through my darkest hours, you can.”

Aishi Bibi’s portrait with a mutilated nose on the cover of TIME magazine in August 2010, shocked the world.

Asked by the Hollywood star about the treatment of women and girls by the Taliban and the ban on their education, Aisha Bibi said, “I imagine myself in the shoes of an Afghan woman. They had freedom for 20 years, and suddenly everything was taken away from them. They don’t have any rights.

“When you don’t have an education, you cannot do anything in your life. My teacher said “when you learn mathematics and algebra, you’re slapping the Taliban in the face.” That made me so happy. The most important thing you can do is to educate women so they can help themselves.”

Aisha Bibi said her goal in life was a lifelong pursuit of learning.