Zarmina Kakar a women's rights activist cry during an interview with The Associated Press in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Afghan Women: Their plight, setbacks and perils

Afghan Women: Their plight, setbacks and perils

By Maimoona Harrington

Yesterday I watched Afghanistan’s Education Minister Rangina Hamidi’s interview on BBC after the Taliban took over Kabul, Afghanistan. She was clearly scared and teary.

If a woman of her status is feeling this scared and helpless and does not know what the future holds for her and her family, then what’s going through the minds of the young girls who were hopeful a month ago of their better future? Her emotions clearly depicted how the women in Afghanistan could be feeling right now.

I am a Muslim woman who grew up in Pakistan, a neighboring country of Afghanistan. I fail to comprehend what kind of Islam Taliban represent. This is not the Islam I grew up learning to believe and practice. While Pakistan has many challenges for its women, I had the freedom of education study and work.

I am not representing any country, any political group, any religion and have no agenda. I am simply thinking of all the fearful women young and adults in Afghanistan as a woman myself. I feel their plight, fears and setbacks.

What also saddens me is that all over the social media platforms, all I witness is pointing fingers – the blame game. People are protecting and siding their own sides whether it’s their country, their religion or their party views or actions. The recent events are one of many, but I wonder when we are going to take off all these cloaks of identities of religion, politics and nations and think of each other as “humans only”.

I wish I can contribute somehow to show my support, but I know for sure that I can pray. So pray with me for the women in Afghanistan and all around the world facing difficult times.

I am sharing a link from Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner) Facebook page. He shares his cousin’s sentiments who is presently living in Herat and is once again under Taliban rule.

Hosseini says, “The world must do what it can to make sure millions of Afghan women are not once again made to languish behind locked doors and pulled curtains. Those women are some of the bravest and most resilient people I have ever come across. My cousin is a shining example. Women like her have inspired and humbled me over and over. It is a disgrace that they should suffer yet again, after all that they have endured already for many long years of hardship and struggle.”

About Maimoona Harrington

Maimoona Harrington was born and raised in Pakistan moved to the United States with her family in 2008. She is married and a mother of two sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies and sociology from Pakistan and a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from United States. Along with her career as an interpreter, translator and monitor she is also an Islamic and Pakistani Culture Adviser.

As a practicing Muslim with the extensive world travel and living in the West, she has devoted herself to spread awareness of Islam as a goodwill gesture. In an effort to do this she started writing from her own personal experiences with religion, beliefs and life in a different culture. She also has special interest in all the religions and how and why they are all important to its followers. Her primary focus is on the co-existence and harmony between all human beings. Her message is to spread peace not division. She strongly believes that if you want to be closer to your creator then love His creation unconditionally and expect nothing in return for He loves us unconditionally and forgives us no matter how sinful we are!

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