Afghan Girls Return to School

Now that the Taliban have retreated from the area, new students, many of them girls, began to arrive at a formerly clandestine school in a Kabul suburb. The school, still in desperate need of funding, serves several co-ed groups of children, and teachers explain lessons in both Dari and Pashtun. Previously, while under the Taliban, women were banned from working and attending school. Teachers, the vast majority of which are women, continued to teach in underground schools despite the Taliban decrees. Both the teachers and the girls they taught would have been subject to brutal punishments had the Taliban discovered them. Zubaida, an eleven-year old student sent to the school outside of Kabul by her mother, indicated that she feared going to the school while the Taliban was in power. “I hid my books under my veil,” she said. Now she and the other female students study openly.


Agence France-Presse, 11/20/01

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