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    The librarian who defied the Taliban

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    Wahida Amiri functioned as a standard administrator before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August. However, when the assailants began to strip ladies of their privileges, she became one of the main voices against them. She told the BBC’s Sodaba Haidare how challenging Taliban rule prompted her capture and why she chose to leave her country.

    The Taliban said I was a covert operative. That I had helped start an uprising against them. That I went onto the roads and fought just to get acclaim. “Return home and cook”, expressed one of them.

    However, in all actuality, I just needed a certain something: equivalent freedoms for Afghan ladies. The option to go to class, to work, to be heard. Is that a lot to request?

    The day they came to capture us, a ghostly quiet had fallen over Kabul. Lately various ladies who had challenged the Taliban had been taken, so we were moved to a protected house.

    Over the most recent couple of months since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, I had been areas of strength for a glad lady, walking through the roads to challenge them. I looked at them without flinching and said: “You can’t deal with me like a peon. I’m a lady and I’m your equivalent.” Now, I’m concealing in this obscure spot, not realizing my wrongdoing but rather contemplating whether they’ll come for me.
    Unexpectedly, tires came shrieking and broke to a stop outside the structure. I was unable to count the quantity of vehicles or troopers. It appeared they had come arranged to capture an entire town and in addition to a couple of ladies walking to live unreservedly in their own country.

    When they jumped into the room, in the entirety of my companions’ shouts and frenzy I could hear them say: “Do you have Wahida Amiri, have you viewed as her? Where is she?” I thought: “This is all there is to it. It’s finished, I will pass on.”

    The library was my blissful spot
    Before the grievous day of 15 August 2021, I was a common lady. I had graduated with a regulation degree and presently at 33 years of age I ran a library in the core of Kabul.

    The library was my cheerful spot where everybody was gladly received, particularly ladies. At times we talked about points like woman’s rights over chai sabzi, the customary Afghan green tea with cardamom. Afghanistan was somewhat flawed, however we had opportunity.

    I thought often profoundly about books on the grounds that up until the age of 20 I was unable to understand myself.

    I had quite recently begun school when the Taliban previously moved into Afghanistan, waving their high contrast banners. It was 1996.

    One of their most memorable orders was to close schools for young ladies.

    Every one of our family members escaped to Panjshir, a rocky valley in the north and our unique home. However, my dad chose to remain and after my mom kicked the bucket, he remarried. The years that followed were incredibly difficult.
    We moved to Pakistan where every one of the tasks and obligations in the house fell on my shoulders. I cooked, cleaned and scoured the floors the entire day. I thought this would be my life. Then, at that point, came September 11, 2001.

    I watched the fall of the twin pinnacles on TV. It was only after a lot later that I appropriately found out around 9/11 and how much that day changed the existences of customary Afghans like us. After a short time we said farewell to Pakistan. The Taliban had been crushed and it was protected to return home – we’d at absolutely no point ever be outcasts in the future and I’d never returned here, I suspected as much.

    I was 15 when we moved back to Kabul and I perceived how different life was now that the Taliban were not in control – young ladies planned to school, ladies could work. In any case, not much different for me. To my family keeping the house clean and serving visitors was more significant than my schooling – so I continued running a house until my cousin assisted me with selecting once more into a school nearly five years after the fact.

    The letters in the books were molded oddly – the words glanced back at my face vacantly. I took tests and cleaned floors at home simultaneously. What’s more, every time I bombed I would attempt over and over, until I passed.

    At the point when by a marvel I got acknowledged into college to concentrate on regulation, I was as yet a bashful and shy young lady – until a lady came into my life. Her name was Virginia Woolf. Her declaration was A Room of One’s Own. I felt like I was reawakened. The book of this significant English writer showed me all that I ought to have known quite a while in the past. The more I read, the more I understood that I was a resilient lady with my own contemplations.

    The fall of Kabul
    On a hot day in August, the horrible I had survived once gotten back to my life. The Taliban crashed into Kabul waving similar highly contrasting banners.

    Just this time it wasn’t 1996, it was 2021. What’s more, I wasn’t a kid. I wasn’t uninformed. I had carried on with damnation to construct a day to day existence, and I won’t hand it over to them very much like that.

    I was feeling quite a bit better when I found different ladies had similar contemplations. We knew the dangers of challenging the Taliban yet we as a whole said “we should dissent”. We thought of a name for our gathering: Spontaneous Movement of Fighting Women of Afghanistan.

    As of now the Taliban had previously shown their genuine nature. They backtracked on their guarantee to permit ladies to get back to work and close schools for young ladies indeed. They reported their new “government” and there was not a solitary lady in it.

    In those first days, as we walked in the city for our freedoms, the Taliban cornered us. They discharged teargas at us, and shots in the air – they even beat a portion of the ladies. Then they restricted fights through and through.

    The majority of the ladies chose not to continue, it was excessively hazardous. Be that as it may, they couldn’t stop me.

    I kept arranging fights. The night prior to every one I was unable to rest. I’d be anxious and terrified. I’d continue to think “tomorrow will be the last day of my life”.

    The capture
    In Afghanistan, capturing a lady is equivalent to demolishing her standing. There’s an overall suspicion that she’s been assaulted and in the Afghan culture, it’s the most terrible sort of disgrace a lady will convey.

    That day in February 2022, when the Taliban raged into the protected house to capture us, we were requested to deliver our telephones. I was unable to relax. “What’s straightaway?” I thought. “Will they kill me? Assault me? Torment me?” I felt like I had a body however my spirit had left me.

    We were placed in their pickup trucks and taken to the Ministry of Interior Affairs. We passed a long passage with an honorary pathway and were directed to a little room that used to be the service’s nursery, however it didn’t seem as though one. No works of art, no toys, only a couple of public banners of Afghanistan stacked up in the corner and a goliath guide of the country on the wall. We’d be saved here for the following 19 days.

    The day after our capture, one of the Taliban pushed the entryway open and raged in. He was tall and had a dim articulation. His eyes examined the room and when he found me he yelled oppressive words – he said I was “grimy” and “debased”. “You’ve been offending the [Islamic] Emirate for the beyond a half year. Who are you teaming up with?”

    I told him: “Nobody, I’m doing everything all alone.” Then he gave me a pen and piece of paper and said “You’re a government operative. Record the name of every one of your partners.”

    Since I was from Panjshir, a territory known for opposing against the Taliban, they thought I was being upheld by the National Resistant Front, an equipped gathering that is battling them in the north.

    The days that followed were slow. Individually different ladies were delivered, however not me. Then one day they got a camera and told any of us staying that they planned to ask us inquiries and we were to answer them checking the focal point out.

    At the point when we requested to understand what the recording was for, they said it was only a custom and would be kept in the service’s files. We were told to say our names, which region we were from and who was helping us. Forcibly they made us say Afghan activists abroad advised us to dissent.

    We didn’t be aware at the time however this would give individuals the feeling that we walked to become renowned and be cleared from Afghanistan.

    Not long after, they delivered the constrained admissions to the media. In a little TV in the passage we saw the video being played by Tolo News, one of the biggest TV stations in Afghanistan.

    We as a whole separated crying. Presently everybody realized we were taken by the Taliban. They didn’t assault us, however in that frame of mind of many individuals they had. Presently everybody thought we fought just to find support to leave Afghanistan.
    Two days after the constrained admissions they said we were allowed to go. It accompanied a cost, however – we needed to vow not to dissent once more.

    Kabul was chilly, the roads were vacant.

    Coming back, my oldest sibling couldn’t quit admonishing me. “What were you thinking, Wahida? Did you truly figure you could cut the Taliban down? You’re only one lady.” I was embarrassed. I had lost everything. My work, my opportunity and presently the significance of my life on the off chance that I was unable to dissent any longer.

    On one occasion I read a mysterious meeting with another female protestor who said the Taliban had beaten us while we were in their guardianship. They hadn’t. My family implored me to leave Kabul as they were stressed the Taliban would be rankled by the article and come for us once more.

    Thus, two months after my delivery I gathered a little sack of garments and a portion of my number one books, including A Room of One’s Own, and expressed farewell to my country.

    Yet again I ventured out from home first thing in the morning and wound up in Pakistan.

    I left my entire family. I left my shelves. I left the library. The last time I was there was the fourteenth of August, one day before the fall of Kabul. I some of the time can’t help thinking about what befell those books – would they say they are still there?

    I was a curator in my past life, presently I am an evacuee.

    Another life
    I live with various different families in Pakistan. I gaze at my books yet I don’t have the energy to flick through the pages. I feel caught like I can’t dream or disappear to another reality, regardless of whether it’s only briefly.

    The ladies still in my nation are being hushed with numerous scared of restricting the Taliban transparently. I go to the recreation area to clear my head yet the possibility of my kin doesn’t leave me. I miss my home, my family and

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