Habiba Sarobi

Sarabi

Sarabi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Habiba_Sarabi_in_April_2011

Habiba Sarobi is the mother of 3, the first female governor in Afghanistan and a doctor. When the Taliban came into power in the late 1990’s her eldest daughter was 12. They fled the country to insure her children could achieve an education but returned to become a politician and advocate against Taliban rule. She is a leader for women’s rights and environmental conservation in a foraged country.

Janelle Brown did an article on salon.com in December 2001 about Habiba and her wish to improve the life of women and improve the environment in Afghanistan.  Brown quotes Sarobi about her husband wanting her to ride a donkey through the mountains instead of by foot. “‘I am an Afghan woman; I have to walk because of all the other women who have climbed through these mountains,’”  She was trekking between Kabul and Peshawar to be with her husband and try to improve conditions in rural Afghanistan.

“The majority of Afghan women are rural. Women in rural areas are not considered even capable of opinion: Not only is she deprived of the basic right of expressing her feelings, but she can’t marry the person she wants, and is forced to marry at an early age. Basically,” concludes Sarabi, “they are being treated like animals; they are referred to in a derogatory way as if they have no rights.”

I’m reading “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini of The Kite Runner fame on my kindle. Do you remember reading The Kite Runner and feeling ashamed for not knowing enough about the Afghani culture, or even, the difference between Afghanistan and Iraqi wars with America?  I love Mr. Hosseini’s ability to bring the daily life of Afghani families to American homes in a relatable way.

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