How long should we remain silent? We should stand up to the Taliban and ask for our rights.

Carpet-weaver, Kunduz
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© Kiana Hayeri

"When there was no Taliban, we had the right to education. This was very good for women. Since they have come, women and girls are not allowed to attend school. 

All the girls and women were asking why the Taliban is doing this. Aren't we humans that have the right to an education?

And the doors of schools are closed to us. This is very difficult and intolerable when [you are] studying, and suddenly everything changes. You do not have the right to education or the right to work. Since the day the Taliban came, people are all very depressed; I feel very bad. I was in the 12th grade and had many hopes and aspirations, but I could not continue my studies.

Since childhood, I have wanted to be a teacher. Before I was going to school, but now I am at home. Because of loneliness and boredom, I am weaving carpets. Before the arrival of the Taliban, I did not know carpet weaving. Three months after their arrival, I started weaving; I married at a young age, so I had to learn to provide for my kids.

Because the Taliban came to power, we lost all our hopes; there is no future in studying. Many girls are still hopeful – they think the schools will reopen to them. It is tough to see all these girls expecting the schools to be open.  

I see a bleak future for women in Afghanistan.

Before, we lived and had the right to life; now, we are deprived of everything. We do not have any places to hang out, enjoy entertainment or make a picnic; our future is dark in Afghanistan. There is not even a movie on TV for us to watch. Every day, we hear a new sad story: Women should not come out of their home and should wear the burqa! It is impossible to live in these circumstances.

Under the Taliban, Afghanistan has no future.

The people of the country have a lot of pain in their heart. Everyone hopes for a day without the Taliban. People hope that Afghanistan will improve, so that they can continue to attend school.

Once, I went to a friend's house and they told me that the Taliban assaulted a man after asking why the woman he was accompanying did not have a hijab – when the woman was wearing a hijab!

They have problems with women themselves. They don't like women to leave their homes or have the right to education. They make life difficult for women. I have always had a bad picture of them in my mind.

I think women should defend their rights. How long should we remain silent? We should stand up to the Taliban and ask for our rights." 

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