Sometimes the hard thing to do is keeping on with your normal life in the face of unspeakable violence. Girls and teachers attending school in Kandahar, Afghanistan have been sprayed with acid by men for the “crime” of attending school.
Today, nearly all of the wounded girls are back at the Mirwais School for Girls, including even Shamsia, whose face was so badly burned that she had to be sent abroad for treatment. Perhaps even more remarkable, nearly every other female student in this deeply conservative community has returned as well — about 1,300 in all.
“My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed,” said Shamsia, 17, in a moment after class. Shamsia’s mother, like nearly all of the adult women in the area, is unable to read or write. “The people who did this to me don’t want women to be educated. They want us to be stupid things.”
My sixteen and thirteen year-old daughters already have more education than most of the women in Afghanistan. My oldest takes public transport to and from school. There’s no question that I would take steps to ensure her continued education if she were under this kind of threat, but I’m not sure I’d have the courage to let her travel on her own.