Afghan Student Who Lost An Eye In Terror Attack Vows To Fight For Change

It was early morning in Kabul, Afghanistan, when Fatima Amiri first heard gunshots from her classroom. She and hundreds of other students were preparing for the college entrance exam at the time, but then the girls started screaming in panic. Amiri quickly stood up to reassure the class, but when she turned, she saw a man intentionally shooting at students with a gun.

“I was scared; I was trying to hide under the table when an explosion happened,” the 17-year-old said.

Amiri lost an eye and eardrum due to the explosion. Her jawbone was also badly damaged. In total, 54 other students, mostly girls, were killed.

As a minority, Shiites in Afghanistan have been targeted and persecuted in a long time.

Amiri lives in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Barchi, a predominantly Shiite neighborhood west of the city of Kabul. Terrorists have targeted Shiite mosques, schools, sports clubs and cultural centers. a horrible Assaulting the maternity home in 2020 killing 20 civilians, including women and their babies.

Amiri knew going to school from a security perspective was risky. However, she never thought that one day a terrorist would try to kill her in the classroom.

Undeterred, two weeks after the attack, Amiri appeared in the college entrance exam and was declared one of the top scorers.

“I want to tell the terrorists that no matter how much pressure you put on us, you cannot defeat us!” Amir said. “Your attacks inspire us to rise again and again.”

The UN Security Council and other world leaders condemned the attack on the Kaaj education center in Kabul, where Amiri had been going for two years to prepare for university entrance exams, but the political regime in Afghanistan did not implemented strong security measures to ensure the safety of Shiites, who now feel more marginalized under the Taliban regime.

In recognition of her courage and tenacity, the BBC has listed Amiri on the list 100 Inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2022.

The attack followed the Taliban’s ban on girls’ schools after sixth grade in Afghanistan after the group took power in the summer of 2021. But young Afghans like Amiri still hope that the international community will put pressure on the Taliban leaders to respect girls’ right to education and women’s right to work.

“I urge the international community to do something for Afghan women and girls,” she said. “Listen to their voices and take action. It has been almost two years now that schools have closed for girls. It is likely that the university will also be closed. Currently, the situation is difficult. Afghan women and girls cannot work.”

Amiri’s prediction of restricting higher education for girls was substantiated shortly after the Taliban imposed a complete ban on women. university on December 20. Five days later, the regime also ordered NGOs stop women since coming to work. Although the ban on women’s education and work has been strongly condemned by the international community, the Taliban leadership said they would not compromise.

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