Afghanistan has been invaded but never controlled and the women know the history!
-‘There are reasons for that because the women have wept there, either for their babies or for those who they thought of as their saviors, the wretched men folk!’
-‘The story is the same today in this high technological matrix in the world where the USA is supposedly leading from the front and led in Afghanistan too only to end the game leaving the country in chaos’!
-‘The great power of the technological wizards who always entered the world wars late I mean World War-I and II, the crew holders of Spanish Flu with presidents like Theodore Roosevelt spreading the American Teddy bear (our kids always love (but there is a legend behind it which goes as follows Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn candy shop owner, saw the cartoon and had an idea. He and his wife Rose also made stuffed animals, and Michtom decided to create a stuffed toy bear and dedicate it to the president who refused to shoot a bear. He called it ‘Teddy’s Bear’.). That was the legend but to Afghan babies they could teach nothing, perhaps none of the invaders in Afghanistan taught them the basics! The first one should have been to love each other and respect the women! None of the invaders did that! As A result, mankind can see it as women are weeping and children are being thrown over fences and walls so that the soldiers of various armies take them away!’ Could be termed as humanity as its medieval and modern best!
-‘Why we remember women after their deaths, a small modern time example, I read recently, 25 years old Aaliyah’s musical album has sold more than eight million copies worldwide – but it’s not available to stream before today. One In A Million is the second record by the much-missed US star, Aaliyah, an artist whose career is defined by both her musical legacy and the tragedy of her untimely death. She was one of the fastest rising stars in the world when she died in a plane crash in 2001, aged 22. The album is the first of five to drop on streaming services over the next few months – none of which have been available due to her family’s grief and complications between record labels over rights to the records. What I want to say is that a woman is a woman so respect her while she lives’! Today’s humanity especially so in Afghanistan does not believe in this!
-‘The history of women’s struggle for equality and liberation in Afghanistan is often misunderstood and misrepresented. Many still believe that the movement for gender equality in the country began in 2001, with the help of international forces. But that is not the case. Afghan women have reached unprecedented heights in many fields due to increased opportunities since 2001 but they say vociferously that we have a long history of fighting for our rights. We were never weak and voiceless. We have always found ways to speak up, even under the oppressive Taliban regime and now when they are again in power and the world does not know what to do but the women do!’ It’s true as you will find out in the script.
-‘ I have a legitimate reason to say that, the man with the gun terrorizing girls and ladies is also someone’s son, perhaps of a cursed mother or a brother of a small loving sister! Gun and terror ensures that emotions are to be forgotten and buried, perhaps alive!’
-‘I researched a lot and then came to a conclusion that five women have fought all the way for Afghanistan, five women who have made history in Afghanistan with their vision, service, and passion for progress and equality. These women have inspired generations of Afghans who are yearning for peace and justice for all, even when they lost their lives in the fight. But some animals do not want that to happen! But it will because women have the courage to alter the labyrinths of time! They will be in Afghanistan too one day!’
‘If they can throw their kids over the fences to the soldiers leaving Kabul then they can get into a face off that we would not produce any? End of the game and perhaps civilization! It can happen!’
-‘In Greek mythology, the Arae were female spirits of curses, particularly of the curses placed by the dead upon those guilty of their death; they were associated with the underworld. Also they can curse men such that the cattle of the sun god Hyperion would have done if they were harmed by any man, as in Homer’s Odyssey. Such things do come true and I will not elaborate why!’
‘One thing more I want to tell the readers, Afghanistan has been invaded but never truly conquered, not even the great Monglo Genghis Khan could do it.’
The Central Asian country has often been termed as the graveyard of empires and now gets added to the list is the United States of America , the powers with military might that attempted to occupy and control Afghanistan. Throughout history there have been nations that disappeared from the map, some temporarily like Poland, which was subjugated for more than a century before finally re-obtaining its independence; while other lands, like the Byzantine Empire, were wiped off the map forever. In the case of Afghanistan, it was never truly conquered. It may have been invaded, but even suggesting that it was occupied would be a stretch as the remoteness of the land made it hard for an outsider to control. Located on the mainland route between what is today Iran, Central Asia, and India, it has been invaded countless times and then settled by a plethora of tribes and peoples who are mutually hostile to one another as well as outsiders. This time also the same happened but throughout the history of Afghanistan the women have suffered. They are doing that now also as they lived a scared life not knowing who is going to get killed next but they do have a hope if they get to their ancient history. The ladies of Afghanistan can fight back as so many others have done!
Can you imagine amongst the warlords! Many would shiver but the Afghan women have seen the reality from very close quarters! ‘I don’t fear death; I fear remaining silent in the face of injustice. I am young and I want to live. But I say to those who would eliminate my voice: I am ready, wherever and whenever you might strike. You can cut down the flowers, but nothing can stop the coming of the spring. This is an Afghan woman of modern times speaking and the name Malalai Joya. Hopefully many would join in so that they conquer the lands which no one could! She went a bit further when she said in her memoir, people who look the other way when they see these war criminals are smaller criminals themselves. Perhaps she was right all the way!
I The history tells a lot about Afghanistan:
It is often stated that since Alexander the Great, king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, no power has successfully invaded Afghanistan. However, Alexander wasn’t even the first to try. Two centuries earlier, parts of the land that is today Afghanistan fell to the Achaemenid Empire during Darius I of Persia’s conquests in the early fourth century BCE. Largely overlooked today, this may have been one of the more successful attempts to control the Central Asian land, and it was also the longest that a foreign invader was able to maintain that control. For more than two centuries the land remained at peace. Thereafter it never was because it was a travel route to places where everything glittered for the invaders!
That changed in 330 BCE when Alexander the Great then led an invasion during his war against Persia. Alexander the Great set about founding or renaming more than seventy cities in the region to leave his mark. Most notable of those was Alexandroupolis, also known as Alexandria in Arachosia. The city’s name evolved to Iskandahar, and today is known as Kandahar–the second largest city in the country.
Greek influence remained for centuries till the Kushans came in, then yet again came in the Persians and the country was under the Sassanid empire.
It was the Rashidun Caliphate that began an Islamic conquest from the west that converted most of the population to Islam. During the Umayyad Caliphate, which extended nearly from the borders of China to the Iberian Peninsula, Afghanistan was nearly under full control of an outside power.
This was the point where it was under as much control as it would ever be. Chengis Khan invaded it and then Taimur, followed by the Mughals and in more recent times the British, Soviets, and most recently the United States and its allies have all made attempts as well.
In the case of the British, its three invasions were never really about conquering Afghanistan as much as quelling raids from the border while seeking to install a pro-British leader.
The Soviets also invaded three times, first in 1929 and again in 1930 but its 1979 invasion, which led to the Soviet-Afghan War that is most remembered today.
That wasn’t so much a conquest either, but was meant to support the pro-Democratic Republic of Afghanistan–and just as the United States had become embroiled in what was a civil war in Vietnam, so too did the Soviets end up engaged in a local conflict fought by local factions.
There is much foreign blood in the sand of Afghanistan, and for nearly 2,500 years it has earned the moniker of the graveyard of empires.
Sadly, the United States and its allies have become its latest participants. And now the Chinese think that they will have better luck than those who came before.
II. The predicament of women:
Rights are not easy to obtain, and once we understand this, we must work attentively and persistently – and never become careless or lazy. In Afghanistan that is the most difficult Jammu and this has been a persistent phenomenon since long in the history. Afghanistan has always had elite and middle-class women who asserted their rights and marched towards modernization. But despite this, the lot of Afghan women in rural areas have been under oppression through tribal customs and dictates. Those women who were publicly visible throughout the history of Afghanistan belonged to the royalty or elite and represented a very tiny population of the country. They do act as role models and provide a window into the possibility that social change can occur and illustrate the potential that women from different strata of society can just change it. But it’s difficult in fact very difficult but there have been women who have risen and gone on the roads not taken to fight on:
Gawharshad Begum: She was a renowned political figure during the Timurid dynasty (1370-1507). Living in the 15th Century, she was married to Emperor Shahrukh Timurid, but she was a change-maker in her own right. In addition to being a queen, Gawharshad was a minister and a leader in promoting arts and culture. She supported poets and artists, including female poet Mehri Herawi, and brought Persian language and culture to the forefront of the Timurid dynasty. Herat, the capital of the Timurid Empire, became the hub of cultural renaissance under her guidance. The architecture and arts of that era still remain a crucial part of identity in Herat and Afghanistan. She also built a religious school, mosques and a Khanaqah (spiritual center for Sufi Muslims). Gawharshad was also a skilled politician. After her husband’s passing, she installed her favorite grandson as the puppet king and ruled the kingdom for 10 years.
Rabia Balkhi: She was born into the royal family in Balkh, Afghanistan, in the 9th Century. She is considered to be the first woman to have written poems in modern Persian. She is one of the most influential Persian poets so much so that it is rumored that a renowned male poet played in role in her murder due to jealousy. Rabia was killed by her brother for falling in love with Baktash, a slave of the kingdom. Her bravery to fall in love, something considered to be taboo for women, and break the class structure by loving a slave, and also write poetry about her love has made her an icon for fighting for equality and justice in Afghanistan.
Queen Soraya Tarzi: She is one of the most influential royal figures in Afghanistan. Queen Soraya was married to King Amanullah Khan, a progressive ruler who governed from 1919-1929. She was highly educated and a fierce advocate for women’s rights and girls’ access to education. Among other things, she opened the first school for girls, and founded the first magazine for women, Ershad-I-Niswan. Her vision for women in Afghanistan still inspires many women across the country.
Nadiaa Anjuman: She was born in Herat in 1980. When the Taliban took over the city, Nadiaa joined other local women and began attending an underground school and literary circle, the Golden Needle Sewing School. Under the disguise of learning to sew, Nadiaa and other women were taught literature by Professor Muhammad Ali Rahyab of Herat University, because the Taliban did not allow women to go to school. As soon as the Taliban were ousted, Nadiaa started her formal education at Herat University. She soon became a prolific poet and published a book of her poems, Gul-e-Dudi (Dark Flower). Nadiaa’s talents and visions came short when her husband killed her for writing poems about women’s subjugation and attending events. Even in her death, Nadiaa inspires the women of Afghanistan as one of her well-known poems about women’s rights has been sung widely by popular musicians.
Lieutenant Colonel Malalai Kakar: She was the head of Kandahar’s Department of Crimes against Women. Working in a conservative community, she was a trailblazer for many women. Malalai came from a family who served– both her father and brother were policemen. She was the first woman to graduate from the Kandahar Police Academy and the first woman to become an investigator. She focused on cases of gender-based violence. On September 28, 2008, Malalai was shot and killed by a Taliban gunman on her way to work. Malalai’s courage and tenacity to serve in law enforcement have inspired dozens of women to join Afghanistan’s police force and paved the way for many others.
These are just a few in the long history of Afghanistan and they do say we are here because of some ladies who wanted to do something but could not. But the younger lot is determined and they want to lead from the front but how can they? For example Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan’s first and youngest female mayor said after the militant group took control of the country, I’m sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me! It is despondency and despair as Taliban continue with their own dictates as far as the women go! Incidentally Zarifa in the past, she had received death threats from the Taliban. Her father General Abdul Wasi Ghafari was gunned down by the merchants of death!
Today the girls and women in Afghanistan are saying only one thing, my country is still in blood ridden chains and terrorist fundamentalists. The situation in Afghanistan and conditions of its ill-fated women will never change positively, as long as the warlords are not disarmed and terrorists are removed from the political scene of Afghanistan. This perhaps is the most extraordinary story being enacted live in Afghanistan where women just do not know what to do! There is a very thin thread in fact an invisible one between the next breath and a bullet in the middle of two eyes!