Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Courageous Afghan girls pursue education, despite perils

Dexter Filkins of the New York Times reports today about the aftermath of an attack on school girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan, a few months ago. Several men on a motorcycle sprayed acid on 15 female students and teachers as they walked to school. Now mostly recovered, the girls have returned to school. Here's an excerpt describing the school (built five years ago by the Japanese government), its students, and the social and cultural milieu.

The girls burst through the school’s walled compound, many of them flinging off head-to-toe garments, bounding, cheering and laughing in ways that are inconceivable outside — for girls and women of any age. Mirwais has no regular electricity, no running water, no paved streets. Women are rarely seen, and only then while clad in burqas that make their bodies shapeless and their faces invisible.

Yet, as Filkins reports, girls "flock to the school." Ah, the gift of education that we are too quick to take for granted.

No comments: