The New Yorker: Politics And More

Afghanistan’s Only All-Girls Boarding School Fears for the Return of the Taliban

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Sinopsis

Since the U.S. withdrawal began, Taliban forces have re-captured more than a quarter of Afghanistan’s districts. Shabana Basij-Rasikh is the co-founder of the country’s only all-girls boarding school, and she is anxiously waiting to see if the Taliban—which brutally opposes the education of girls and women—will make inroads in Kabul. At SOLA, the School of Leadership Afghanistan, students are free from the threats and violence that is commonly suffered in villages, and the expectations of housework that interfere with studying. Basij-Rasikh told the staff writer Sue Halpern how she was educated secretly, during the Taliban’s rule, and about her belief that Kabul will not fall to the group’s resurgence. “I was speaking with a young woman and she said, ‘Yes, sure, the Taliban will kill more of us. The Taliban will kill a lot more of us. But they will never, ever rule over us.’ ”