Thursday, 15 January 2009

NYT: The Girls of Mirwais School

Image © Danfung Dennis/NYT-All Rights Reserved

"Then the man pulled Shamsia’s burqa from her head and sprayed her face with burning acid. Scars, jagged and discolored, now spread across Shamsia’s eyelids and most of her left cheek. These days, her vision goes blurry, making it hard for her to read."

The New York Times features Danfung Dennis' photographs in a slideshow The Resilience of Kandahar. We all remember how 11 young Afghan schoolgirls were injured last November when they were sprayed with acid by men who were enraged by their attending school. An accompanying article by Dexter Flikins is worth reading, and provides context to the slideshow.

It's a testament to these 11 young schoolgirls' courage and resilience that nearly all of them are back at the Mirwais School for Girls. Almost all the 1300 female students in this deeply conservative community of Kandahar have returned as well.

Shamsia, one of the girls who was badly disfigured in the attack, is quoted as saying:" “The people who did this, do not feel the pain of others.” By the way, the name of this brave girl means 'sunshine', and she's the one on the right of the picture above..

If Afghanistan ever returns to be a country where these atrocities no longer occur, it'll be because of Shamsia and her ilk...not because of the corrupt governance of Hamid Karzai and his entourage.