Braver than us, braver than this

I just finished reading “My Forbidden Face” which is a young woman’s account of her experience of the Taliban seizing power in Kabul. (you can read the first two chapters here
and here) and the thing that struck me was how brave she was.

Part of the account was of how she and some friends set up a secret school in their homes as normal schools were forbidden and girls were forbidden schooling and boys only got Taliban sanctioned religious education

This was when she was eighteen and she had so much to lose, her bodily integrity, her life, her families lives and she knew this:

One of our former teachers was recently caught in the act by the Taliban-right in the middle of teaching a class. First they beat the children, then they hit her. They threw her down the stairs of her building so violently that she broke a leg. Then they dragged her by the hair and jailed her. And after that, they forced her to sign a declaration promising that she wouldn’t start again, that she respected the law of the Taliban. They threatened to stone her entire family in public if she didn’t acknowledge the error of her ways (page 106)

But she went ahead and did it anyway because it needed doing.

It just makes me think. Really what am I doing? Although feminism is locked into my life it is not my life, I am not running risks for it and maybe I should be. Could I be that brave? Could I have that much courage? That much determination? No probably not but I can still be braver than this, braver than I am now, more committed and more principled than I am now.


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