The Afghanistan war has raged for over two decades, and the world has seen different accounts of the events. While bloodshed, death, suffering and many other things associated with wars have occurred, women have primarily been at the receiving end of all forms of abuse and denial of human rights. From her point of view as a young woman living in Afghanistan when the war broke out, Farzana Ebrahimi wrote “The Roaring Sands Of Kandahar,” a book that chronicles her experiences and the things the war did to the average Afghan woman.
During the war, the most prevalent occurrence was the blatant disregard for human rights and the death, poverty, and vulnerability that the people of Afghanistan were forced to experience. The Taliban imposed their reign of terror on the people and made the world a prison for women as they were stripped of everything that made them free human beings.
With no rights to freedom, women were heavily restricted and unable to access healthcare. Restrictions like mandatory burqa coverings, zero access to education, healthcare, and jobs, and prohibition from public appearances without a male chaperone are some of the things women were subjected to. Kandahar and its three thousand years of civilization became unrecognizable and a shadow of itself. The city became skeletal, with nothing thriving and the people living in fear for their lives and loved ones.
“The Roaring Sands Of Kandahar” focuses on a young girl, Mina, who was born in Kandahar and had all her childhood memories tainted by the war as the only place she knew as home no longer felt like it. Mina witnessed first-hand how women were relegated to the background and subjected to immense suffering because of their gender. Mina knew women lived in better conditions thousands of years before her time, so she wondered what exactly happened to bring this full circle of shame and suffering to the city.
Mina wanted to change the status quo and the situation of things for other women like her, so she sought freedom. Ignoring her fears and facing them head-on, she took off, shared her story with the world, and agitated for the needed change that Kandahar and its women deserved.
“The Roaring Sands of Kandahar” is Farzana Ebrahimi’s way of sparking important conversations about the Afghanistan war. The book gives an insight into the plight of the people, especially Afghan women. As one of the survivors of the war, Farzana Ebrahimi recounts her experiences through the book so that the whole world gets a clear picture.
Farzana has been passionate about women’s rights from age eight when she had to wear the hijab and boys did not. She stuck to her beliefs and continued to fight for what she believed in by embarking on numerous humanitarian projects, including writing the book “The Roaring Sands of Kandahar.” Furthermore, she established Kandahar’s Health and Development Organization to support women in Kandahar and helped hundreds of women get an education. She moved to northern California in 2010, where she continued to fight for Afghan women’s rights. She wants to see the world recognize these struggles and understand the plight of Afghan women and the things they went through during the war. Not only that, despite the war ending, Farzana wants to highlight how these women are still suffering after Afghanistan’s collapse without access to their basic rights such as education, work, health, and many more.
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