It was early in the morning in Kabul, Afghanistan, when Fatima Amiri first heard the gunshots from inside her classroom. She and hundreds of other students were preparing for college entrance exams at the time, but then the girls started screaming in panic. Amiri quickly stood up to calm the class, but when she turned around, she saw a man with a gun deliberately shooting at some students.
“I was scared; I tried to take shelter under the desks when an explosion happened,” the 17-year-old said.
Amiri lost an eye and an eardrum as a result of the explosion. His jaw was also badly damaged. A total of 54 other students, mostly girls, were killed.
As a minority, Shias in Afghanistan have been targeted and persecuted for a long time.
Amiri lives in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Barchi, a predominantly Shia neighborhood in western Kabul city. Terrorists target Shia mosques, schools, sports clubs and cultural centers. an awful aggression in a maternity hospital in 2020 killed 20 civilians, including women and their babies.
Amiri knew going to school from a safety perspective was risky. However, she never thought that one day a terrorist would try to kill her in a classroom.
Undeterred, two weeks after the attack, Amiri sat for a college entrance exam and was declared a top scorer.
“I want to tell the terrorists that no matter how much oppression you impose 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 went for two years to prepare for the college entrance exam, but no robust security measures were taken. was taken by political regimes in Afghanistan to provide security for Shiites who now feel more marginalized under the Taliban.
In recognition of her courage and resilience, the BBC placed Amiri on a list of 100 inspiring and influential women around the world for 2022.
The attack follows the Taliban’s ban on schools for girls beyond sixth grade in Afghanistan after the group came to power in the summer of 2021. But young Afghans like Amiri still hope the community international will put pressure on the Taliban. leaders to respect girls’ right to education and women’s right to work.
“I call on the international community to do something for Afghan women and girls,” she said. “Listen to their voice and act. Schools have been closed for girls for almost two years. It is possible that the university will also be closed. Currently, the situation is difficult. Afghan women and girls cannot work.
Amiri’s prediction of a restriction on higher education for girls came true after the Taliban imposed a complete ban on women’s access to university December 20. Five days later, the regime also ordered non-governmental organizations to arrest women to come to work. Although the ban on women’s access to education and work has drawn strong condemnation from the international community, the Taliban leaders said they would not compromise.