Home News It’s time to focus on the future of Afghanistan, not the past

It’s time to focus on the future of Afghanistan, not the past

by Salaamedia Intern

South Africa – Afghan humanitarian aid worker and founder of Dream Voice Act NGO, Nadima, sat down with Newzroom Afrika to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. Nadia, who is being hosted by Salaamedia and the National Muslim Womens Forum, will be toring South Africa for the next two weeks speaking on various issues regarding Afghnaistan.

It has been more than a year since the United States withdrew their troops from Afghanistan. There are some who praised the decision while others felt it was not yet time to pull the troops out. Nadima, on the other hand, believes the only people whose opinions matter are the Afghan people and they have not been spoken to.

“My question to the world is what about the people of that nation? What about the people of the community? Why is it that we are constantly giving attention to certain foreign countries and we’re thinking about how they feel? What about my people … We have to now directly connect with the people that are from that community. It’s not about withdrawal. Afghanistan is not a punching bag you can come and go as you please. I think it is time we ask the people of Afghanistan how they feel and those people that are of the land that are staying and willing to work with the community.”


The focus should not be on the past of Afghanistan but the future of it

There are those who want to focus on comparing life before and after the withdrawal of the US troops. Those who want to compare life before the Taliban and after. This comparison serves no benefit to Afghanistan or its people, explained Nadima. People should rather be focused on the future.

“I am here to share the narrative of my story and the story of my women that I’m trying to work with in Afghanistan … If we are for the people then we need to start treating each other the way we want to be treated. We can dwell on the past. I can sit here and talk about what happened but honestly I want to now work for the future. I’m here for the future. I want to share the narrative, the stories, the life I’m experiencing in Afghanistan as a woman and what I want to do for the women of Afghanistan which is supporting businesses, entrepreneurship, trade and skills.”

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Afghanistan has challenges like the rest of the world

When the Taliban first came into power, there were concerns about how the country would be ruled. What laws would have come into place and if the rights of women would be protected. Nadima pointed out countries around the world have challenges and Afghanistan is no different. 

“I am faced with many challenges as a woman who live in Afghanistan but and I also know that my new government in Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, that are known as Taliban in the world, I have challenges with them. They have challenges with me. They have certain a perspective, we have a certain perspective but they’re my people at the end of the day I am going to do whatever it takes to come to an understanding that will create a solution for the people of Afghanistan.”


The issue of women’s education in Afghanistan

Women’s education has been at the forefront of every conversation about Afghanistan since the Taliban came into power. Nadima admitted the government has prevented girls from going to school, it does not matter as there are many problems to fix before girls or anyone can go to school. Teachers are unavailable as there is no money to pay their salaries and parents are also battling to put food on the table. They cannot afford to send their kids to school.

“Before we go to the subject of education, my community right now is in so much distress. We have been through so much trauma, so much pain. Are you telling me that in the last 30 years, all the great work and all the progression that has happened in South Africa happened overnight? You took over from your oppressors, did the people go to school the next day?”

Nadima understands the importance of having an education and why the world is demanding it. However, she would like solutions rather than things just thrown at her.

“I understand the world is telling me about education but what I want the world to tell me is how we’re going to do it. Give me the solution. Don’t just throw things at my country and my people. You want women’s education well, what about health care? How about we focus on that? Tell me how we’re going to move forward now?”

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The focus should not be about empowering women but empowering everyone

There has been a heavy emphasis on women empowerment and education. While many have called for women empowerment, Nadima believes they should be focused on empowering everyone. She also feels the push to empower alone is coming with a risk of causing further problems.

“I feel like the way we’re going about this women empowerment is putting men in the corner and then there’s going to be another destruction we’re going to face … I care about my men’s well-being as much as my women’s well-being. They both play an equally important role in creating a community that is peaceful and safe. My men have been through as much as the women.”

The talk of women empowerment is all well and good but there needs to be action. Nadima has invited all those who are so keen on women empowerment to join her in Afghanistan.

“If we truly care about women empowerment then come work with women like myself in Afghanistan and support the women’s trade business. Support this kind of work and empower them through financial stability. Once the mother has food then she can dress her kids and say it’s time to go to school.”

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