We’re thrilled to share this story by Farida. Farida is a graduate of SOLA, School of Leadership, Afghanistan, and is in her second year of study in America. In this piece, she allows us the rare opportunity of seeing an Afghan initiative through Afghan eyes. (Video below story.)
BETWEEN 2009 and 2014, a documentary was made about Zabuli High School, an all-female school in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zabuli High School is one of the few schools in Afghanistan that brings hope and joy for the future of Afghanistan. The school is not only for academic purposes, but for creating strong women for the future of the country.
Some of the students, who attend this school, are not supported by their families; instead they are asked to marry and be a house- wife. The headmistress of Zabuli High School has spoken to many of the families and convinced them to let their daughters go to school. These students do not only learn Saadi’s poems; but they also learn how to fight for their education when nobody in their families are helping them. The students in Zabuli High School learn how to support each other and how to help each other. They learn that from their headmistress, the woman who has the willingness to risk death for the sake of educating the daughters of her country.
In 2011, the Taliban tried to poison some high school female students by mixing poison into their water. But in Zabuli High School, the headmistress of the school tried the water every day before the students drank it. “If the water is poisoned anyone who drinks it will die. If my students drink it first, at least 10 people will die. But if I drink it first only one person will die,” said the headmistress in an interview.
The teachers and the students in Zabuli school are bonded by love. It seems that the relation- ship between a teacher and a student in this school is like the relationship between a mother and her child, and between best friends. For example, when one of the teachers left the school you can see the sorrow of separation in the faces of her students. You can see the tears of sadness on their faces. But it can easily be proved that distance cannot part members of this school, because they are bonded with their hearts.
Not only Afghanistan, but our world needs schools such as Zabuli High School, where students learn how to live their lives and how to stay strong when they are weak. As humans of the earth, each of us are responsible to show our support for schools that bring education, confidence, joy and a voice to the children of the world. —Farida