Home World The teacher, the director and the mayor. Appeal from Afghans on the run: “Don’t recognize the Taliban”

The teacher, the director and the mayor. Appeal from Afghans on the run: “Don’t recognize the Taliban”

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What they were, what they are, they still want to be. For all Afghan women they are a category, a group photo: those who flee and escape. Scared, exhausted, forced. They don’t have a face, a resume, an individual voice. We needed a documentary like this, We Afghan Women, to restore identity, strength, courage, to those who take the responsibility of repairing (a little) the world. Or at least to try. And so Afghan women become people with a name, a profession, a history, an act. They are photographers, directors, activists, entrepreneurs, teachers. They all say the same thing, but each with their own signature: “I don’t want to be in a cage, or for someone to decide my way of dressing or for my freedoms”.

Zarifa Ghafari, 27, was the youngest mayor ever elected, in the Maidan Shahr town hall where in 2018 she was the only woman among 138 candidates. They tried to kill her six times, she always escaped attacks, but her father colonel paid for her. “They shot him from behind, three shots in the back of the head. After trying to throw grenades at my car. The Taliban did not allow me to reach my office, they did not want to recognize my role, on the contrary they wanted me to give it up, eventually later I won nine months. But they killed my dad and I couldn’t even risk my mother’s life, so I left the country out of a sense of responsibility towards my family “.

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by Gabriella Colarusso


Sahraa Karimi she is a director, the first female director of the Afghan Film Organization and the only woman to run for the position. She directed documentaries and a film, Hava, Maryam, Ayesha, presented in Venice in 2019. Sahraa, born in Afghanistan, raised in Iran, studied at the Bratislava Film Academy and in 2012 returned to her country where she lived until to the reconquest of the Taliban. “The Afghans, especially the younger generation, were doing very well, but now the Taliban are making us invisible. Our profession is not acceptable to them. Our name was on the blacklist, on the killing list. When I left it was for me. brother and his daughters. It was the hardest decision of my life. I didn’t like a lot of things in Kabul, but I loved being there, I cried when the plane was taking off and my city got so small, because I didn’t know if I would be returned. Please do not give recognition to the Taliban, they are looking for it to continue to behave in a miserable way. “

The documentary, premiered tomorrow at the Anteo cinema in Milan, is produced by 3D Produzioni in collaboration with the solidarity network “Women for women” and the “Chiamale Storie” association. Didi Gnocchi wrote the story, screenplay and direction are by Sabina Fedeli e Anna Migotto. But the protagonists are them, the Afghans. Roya Heydari, 28, photographer, raised in exile in Iran, had returned to tell what is never told about Afghanistan, its beauty. Art as a possibility of change. She is now a refugee in France. “In many districts, far from Kabul, there are women with many children, I have worked with them, carrying my cameras and involving them in my projects. The Taliban have not changed and will never change. Paris is beautiful, the Louvre is magnificent, but I feel like a stranger. “

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Mahbouba Seraj, 73, director of the Afghan Women Network, nominated by Time among the most influential people of 2001, he left America in 2003 to return to his homeland. “I did it for some images I had seen on TV: a woman executed with a bullet in the back of the head, the Buddha statue torn to pieces in Bamiyan. The girls don’t go to school, the economy is collapsing, it’s a disaster humanitarian”

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by Paolo Brera


Pashtana Zalmai Khan Durrani, 23, activist and Malala Fund award-winning teacher, struggles to provide education in rural areas. Born in the province of Kandahar, she lived her childhood as a refugee in Pakistan, but returned to her country and developed an online platform that helps girls and teenagers get an education. “Many schools are burned, there are no teaching materials or teachers. So in 2018 I co-founded” Learn “in our house with a table, a tablet and the help of my parents. We have more than 7 thousand members. father to send daughters to school if she is set on fire. But I can provide a safer alternative: her daughter can stay at home and get an education. ” Pashtana today lives in hiding to escape the Taliban. Many faces streaked with tears, but also a lot to do to have an alternative, in fact. Helping to draw a life and not let them erase it.

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by our correspondent Paolo Brera


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