Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The daughters of Eve......

I receive many questions and comments from readers and friends praising my work but at the same time express their concerns that at times my writings are cynically pessimistic and overly critical of almost everything. Many of whom encourage me to look for positive inspirations in my writing. But I am sorry friends, for disappointing you once again, today as well , I do not have a positive news but let me try.

The popular imagination is that for a better tomorrow you need to bolster today. It is more than obvious that Afghanistan's tomorrow will be determined by the social and intellectual strength of today's children. But as our historical trajectories are traced till today, our children and youth have been the most poised, disillusioned and truly unfortunate and every bit of the legacy of those enraged trajectories are palpable in the attitude, thinking, and behavior of our children and youth. However, are they the ones to be blamed? I do not think so.

Today was the 5th reported incident of air poisoning in another girls school in Kabul, and 17 girls were taken to the hospital who fainted immediately after they breath the contaminated air in the school yard. I doubt that tomorrow these girls will be either allowed or dare to return back, especially when they were shown on the national television. 'It is 'dishonoring' for a father or a brother to see his daughter/sister lying in a hospital bed and having been filmed for the report', says Faqir ahmad, with whom I spoke on phone and whose daughter was among those unfortunate 17 girls. However, alot of us witnessed the courage and dedication of many girls who returned back to school in Kunduz and exhibited a revolting agitation against the attempts of girls education being attacked again and again.

The Ministry of education announced that it can be a 'natural' phenomenon as well but also that our schools have been furiously targeted especially to avenge girls education, one of the only thriving legacies of the 2001 bombing and such predatory acts were instigated by the enemies of the state. However, I think this is the epic tale of our classic and contemporary history. Many times we experienced coercive forces against women and girls education by the political and military factions to solidify their presence and power. These are the same gate keepers that also claim at times that women are the weaker and useless part of the society, if so why are the women and girls are being harmed when they are not even a party to the conflict?

The brute reality is that women and girls education symbolize the growing power and progress of a civil society that many do not want for Afghanistan. These rampant attacks on girls schools, public places, women's rights defenders and the people of Afghanistan have once again rehashed the imaginations of war and conflict dispersed over the past 30 years in Afghanistan.
The fear and disdain on the faces of these young girls do not only burry their hopes for a better life but sketches a merky Afghanistan as well. A country whose 51 % of population will remain illetrate or least literate, in comparison to an almost similar tainted picture for the Afghan men.

While the war and military operations predicate success on the 'clear and hold' paradigms, a peaceful Afghanistan could be signified through its educated women and these two hardly seem to reconcile, at least in the operative sense if not in principles.

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