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Tamana Jamily writes about her experiences at school and the difficulties women and girls in Afghanistan face. The problems they face in their homes and families have not helped improve their situation.

I have always been a soft spoken girl with no courage to speak in the class at all. My first bitter experience was with a writing assignment. I think I was supposed to take a stand on school discipline and rules. But when I started to speak, my classmates tried to interrupt and laughed and I ended up being silent.

I was determined to make one last try to persuade my teacher to allow me to present my views, but as it turned out, my teacher tore my paper apart and I was told that I had just wasted everyone’s time. I just gave a small, almost embarrassed, smile with a few tears in my eyes.

I withdrew for a few months. The moment I wanted to speak about something, I would remember that day and fall silent. But, it was also a great lesson for me. I had to prove somehow that I was an active student. A couple of good friends and some teachers helped me. I slowly developed the ambition of wanting to become a journalist and I have achieved that now.

Challenge and new experiences help me thrive. My school was a great place for me. It was a place where not only was I able to satisfy my yearning for knowledge in the field of education, but also served as the place where I could go to meet friends, be in the more formal setting of a classroom, or the merriment of just being together in the school where behind the school wall I as an Afghan girl comfort myself with confidence and self-possession. We were alive, alert and literate. We used to jump and laugh out aloud. These early memories spur me on sometimes, when I look back and lament about how carefree life was when I was still in the early stages of the education system. I do have my good and bitter memories from school time. I will never forget how touched I was with my classmates and teachers there that I am always grateful for that. But I did have some bitter experiences that I can’t ever recall and that spur me to keep on. My bitter memory was nothing when I see the situation now.

But I am stunned what I found out now, the recent incidents and reports witness many acid and poison attacks on school girls, while I was writing this article I read a report published in the BBC that more than 50 girls were poisoned in Bamyan.

As I mentioned above, schools used to be the safest place to pursue their career and education but now we see it is worsening day by day The Afghan girls have always been suppressed. They could have imagined having their self confidence and freedom outside the school but unfortunately the situation is worsening and it is unsafe. Still, a large proportion of this generation of Afghan girls is attending schools like this one, despite arson and gas attacks. Please stop threatening girl’s lives!


07.08.2012 | 8:48