We will not adopt oppressive dress: ‘modern’ Afghans fly in face ...

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We will not adopt oppressive dress: ‘modern’ Afghans fly in face of Taliban

Burkas may be selling like hot cakes in the country right now, but many women are determined to reject them

Ruth Pollard and Eltaf Najafizada

As the Taliban entered the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, university lecturers gathered their female students for some final goodbyes. Telling the shocked young women “we may not meet again”, the lecturers, with everyone else, were evacuated and the universities, schools, offices and shops were shuttered. 

I spoke to Aisha Khurram, one of those whose academic dreams have been cut short. There are thousands like her. The 22-year-old is in the final semester of her international relations degree at Kabul University. With just two months left, she says “now it seems I will never graduate”. Her thesis was on UN Security Council reforms and how they’ll affect special missions in countries such as Afghanistan. Just one more thing the world will be deprived of now the Taliban is back in power.

In Herat, the country’s third-largest city, which fell to the Taliban on Thursday, young women who showed up at their universities were turned away, Khurram says. “The education system is collapsing.”..

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