Tag » Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, where having a son is vital for any respectable family, little girls are sometimes disguised and raised as boys. Here, journalist Jenny Nordberg investigates this complicated cultural game of hidden identity   “Our brother is really a girl.” One of the eager-looking twins nods to reaffirm her words. Then she turns to her sister. She agrees. Yes, it is true. She can confirm it. They are two 10-year-old identical girls, each with black hair, ... Read More
  Jenny Nordberg, who wrote “Undercover Sister” for our Oct/Nov issue this year, was interviewed last Monday on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In the interview she discussed a practice in Afghanistan, where some families disguise a daughter as a son and raise her as a boy until she hits puberty. The interview goes into the reasoning behind the practice, and its long-term effect psychologically on the girls who experience such ... Read More
  Elections for the European Union will be held this Sunday, May 25th, and polls are predicting that Soraya Post will become the first candidate from the Swedish “Feminist Initiative” party (Fi) to take a seat in the EU parliament.   Soraya Post of the Swedish Feminist Initiative, Image Courtesy of  The Guardian  Fi’s feisty slogan, "Out with the racists, in with the feminists," makes the important point that feminism ... Read More
“All female artists who work in Afghanistan today are risking their lives so that they can pave the way for other women.” These are the words of 24 year old Paradise Sorouri, Afghan’s first female rap singer. Born in Iran, Paradise makes up one half of the rap duo, 143—the other half being her fiancé, Diverse. Though the two started out singing about love and other familiar, tamer topics, their 2010 move from Herat, Afghanistan to ... Read More
On Thursday morning, about 74 girls attending Bibi Hawa Girls High School became ill after ingesting a poisonous gas. Police and school representatives transported the girls to the hospital after they fell unconscious and other classmates looked on and cried. The 8th, 10th, and 11th grade students were treated by Dr. Jamil Frotan, who stated, "We have already sent samples of their blood to the Ministry of Public Health and it will soon become clear what the reason ... Read More
25-year-old graffiti artist Shamsia Hassani is one of the handful of Afghan “art activists” who have been taking to the streets of Kabul to paint political pieces around the war-torn city. Her motivation is to bring art to Afghanistan and get people thinking. Before graffiti, the self-taught artist served as an associate professor of sculpture at Kabul University. Shamsia has traded traditional art for spray cans and stencils because she has ... Read More
A woman on a bike is no big deal, right? The average female cyclist doesn't raise many hairs these days, but as we pointed out in last fall's Oct/Nov story "Riding High," this hasn't always been the case. In Victorian America, it was actually pretty taboo for women to ride, and the ensuing restrictions helped to spark the activism of the twentieth century women's rights movement. Over a century later, history is repeating itself in Afghanistan, where women are ... Read More
  Sosan Firooz, the first Afghani female rapper, has recently been hit with a spate of menacing text messages and phone calls demanding that she stop performing.  “If your daughter appears on TV again,” one caller said to her mother, “we will cut off your head.” This seems nuts—but considering recent news from her home country, it doesn’t seem impossible. Sosan, 23, performs with her hair uncovered in front of both ... Read More
Well, this is terrible: two men have been arrested by Afghan police due to allegations of beheading a 15-year-old girl after her father turned down a marriage proposal. The young girl was allegedly attacked while she was walking home with drinking water for her family. “Our investigation shows those who killed her were people who wanted to marry her,” a Kunduz province police official told the BBC. The two suspects were also her relatives. The ... Read More
Skateboarding is pretty cool.  A girl skateboarding is awesome.  But a girl skateboarding in Afghanistan?  Probably couldn’t get better than that. Skateistan began as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Now, they’re an international nonprofit charity providing skateboarding and educational programming in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Pakistan.  Their main goal is to use skateboarding as a tool for ... Read More
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