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The women of Bamian.
October 7, 2008 8:22 AM   Subscribe

"Far away from the Taliban insurgency, in this most peaceful corner of Afghanistan, a quiet revolution is gaining pace. Women are driving cars — a rarity in Afghanistan — working in public offices and police stations, and sitting on local councils. There is even a female governor, the first and only one in Afghanistan." Carlotta Gall writes about promising developments in Bamian. (NY Times; print version.)
posted by languagehat (19 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I clicked on the print version, but still did not get a copy of the paper, it was just another electronic version.

Good article.
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:32 AM on October 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Taleban killed the only female police chief recently
posted by A189Nut at 8:50 AM on October 7, 2008


They also make some frickin' nice rugs there!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:51 AM on October 7, 2008


Thanks, languagehat. It seems that women were always more to the fore among the Hazaras of Bamian than elsewhere in Afghanistan - 80% of girls attending school, for example. Ethnically and culturally these people are different from their neighbours, and highly unreceptive to the Taliban (who have been accused of harbouring genocidal intentions towards them) - so I fear these are not necessarily the first signs of a general Afghan movement.
posted by Phanx at 8:54 AM on October 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


Good article.

Some extras: Habiba Sarabi at Wikipedia. A Salon piece with her from 2001. The story A189Nut refers to.
posted by mandal at 8:56 AM on October 7, 2008


I fear these are not necessarily the first signs of a general Afghan movement.

I fear you're right, and I certainly wouldn't want the post to be taken as a sign that I think things are looking up in general there, but it was a nice bright spot in a world of increasingly gloomy news, and I thought I'd share it.

Thanks for the extra links, mandal!
posted by languagehat at 9:24 AM on October 7, 2008


but it was a nice bright spot in a world of increasingly gloomy news, and I thought I'd share it.

And thank you for doing so.
posted by hallowdmachine at 9:56 AM on October 7, 2008


All of the Hazaras I met, without exception 1)hate the Taliban and 2)are very progressive (by Afghan standards) regarding women's equality.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:39 AM on October 7, 2008


In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king ...

That said, this article offers much-needed hope. Guiding the rest of the country in this direction will be a very delicate process, and not the sort of thing we've traditionally had patience for.
posted by Camofrog at 11:12 AM on October 7, 2008


The Hazara A Historical Examination Of The Probable Origins Of An Improbable People. Many Hazara were persecuted and massacred by the Taliban who later blew up two 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues. Great to know the Women are Gaining Rights in Bamian. Thanks languagehat.
posted by adamvasco at 12:35 PM on October 7, 2008


You mislead us with your positivity!
posted by jouke at 12:50 PM on October 7, 2008


I certainly wouldn't want the post to be taken as a sign that I think things are looking up in general there
A UK military commander was quoted recently as saying the war is unwinnable; not sure if that was the first public admission that the ultimate outcome will involve an accommodation with at least certain elements of the Taliban but that seems widely accepted now.
posted by Abiezer at 12:52 PM on October 7, 2008


Afghans unearth 19-metre Buddha statue, relics
posted by homunculus at 1:30 PM on October 7, 2008


Destroying those ancient Buddhas was obviously effective in preserving public morality.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:57 PM on October 7, 2008


Afghans unearth 19-metre Buddha statue, relics

How strange.

One of my young asylum seekers told me recently that there was a secret buried buddha: lo! and behold: now the Taliban know too!
posted by dash_slot- at 2:06 PM on October 7, 2008


I sent this link to my young clients from Afghanistan, and one [let's call him Ali] replied -

"Thanks for your e mail and interesting links. I read about budha a while a go and I am really happy and also scared because the wildish people will destroy this new budha as well if they find an apropriate time for it. To be honest if you unearth any bit of Bamiyan you find an ancient thing in there basically Bamiyan as a whole is an ancient. the news about the women is interesting showing that they are headed towards a better future. Thanks a lot"

Sounds like the Hazara are an optimistic lot.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:22 PM on October 7, 2008


100 Killed in Afghanistan; Security Deteriorating
posted by homunculus at 12:58 PM on October 12, 2008


NATO Modifies Airstrike Policy In Afghanistan
posted by homunculus at 3:17 PM on October 16, 2008


Dare We Stand Up for Muslim women?
posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM on October 23, 2008


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