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guild wars 2 gold ‘We were like animals living in a cage

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Doczy: 09 Maj 2014
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PostWysany: Pon Maj 12, 2014 17:00    Temat postu: guild wars 2 gold ‘We were like animals living in a cage Odpowiedz z cytatem

jQuery("img#storyphoto.tabClick").click(function() { tabClick(' - Photos Tab',false,'storypage','story_photo_content',true,true); ); Maryam Sahar Naquibullah (R) interprets a speech for International Womens Day for Leslie Wright of the U.S. Agency for International Development on March 8, 2011. Sahar was the only female interpreter with the Canadian forces in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. She is now a permanent resident in Canada under the governments Afghan Interpreters Immigration Program. Before she’d even turned 18, the Taliban had murdered two of Maryam Sahar Naqibullah’s best friends and kidnapped her brother in broad daylight. Her friends were targeted because they were helping the international forces in Afghanistan and, as the only female interpreter for the Canadian and American forces in Kandahar City, Sahar knew the Taliban were watching her, too. Despite the danger, she continued working. Her family needed the money and she felt a duty to help the foreigners reshape her country. But, her worst fears were realized when her 11-year-old brother, Omer, failed to return home from a cricket match at the nearby stadium. Omer was just a boy but the task of escorting Sahar to her interpreting jobs often fell to him. She would always be covered by a burka, the traditional Afghan Islamic dress that covers head to toe, but Omer’s face was uncovered and therefore recognizable. The family searched frantically for the young boy, to no avail. Two days later, he showed up at the door bruised and broken, with his head shaved so the Taliban “could beat him better.” He had been tortured by a group of men who wore bandanas over their faces throughout the ordeal. “They asked him ‘who’s that girl? Why is she going to the army base? What is she doing there?’” Sahar told the Citizen in a recent interview, her eyes filling with tears, her breath quickening. Her little brother protected her. He told his tormentors the girl was his neighbour. He said he didn’t know what she was doing at the base. But Sahar, her family and her supervisors in the Canadian military got the message. Her parents, three brothers and sister immediately moved north to Kabul and, in October 2011, Sahar came to Ottawa under the Afghan Interpreter Immigration Program, which has relocated 800 interpreters so far. While many of the men brought their wives and children, Sahar — the only woman in the program — was forced to come alone — at the age of 17 — because only spouses and children are eligible for relocation. “I told them I wanted to bring my brother and my sister so they could also have a better life here, but they said it’s impossible,” she said. Sahar believes her family is safer in Kabul than they would be in Kandahar — the most conservative province and the birthplace of the Taliban — but she worries about Omer, now 13, because the Taliban know his face. Still feeling the affects of the blows to the head he suffered during that hellish two days, Omer leaves Kabul whenever he’s not in school to avoid being recognized. Sometimes he awakes in the night screaming. “He won’t let anyone touch him. He cries and tells my mom the men are coming for him,” said Sahar. “He was just my baby brother.” Last month, Sahar’s other brother, Samiullah, 15, was hit by a car on his way to school. His legs and arms were broken. She believes the Taliban is also to blame. Despite the danger to herself and to her family, Sahar was drawn to help the international forces understand her country so their rebuilding efforts could be more effective. Without her, the voices of women would have remained silent because, under the Taliban, a woman can only speak to other women or male family members. Thanks to Sahar, female soldiers heard directly from groups of women at monthly Shuras, where up to 45 women come together to air their views and tell their stories. Allowing the women to speak for themselves, Sahar helped to dispel myths in the international community like one widely held that, in order for a program to succeed, the woman of the household should be convinced first and she will take care of winning over her husband. “One woman told us that she had been sick for months but her husband ignored her suffering. Then, when their cow became ill, he got the doctor right away. Women are not the decision makers in Afghanistan,” said Sahar. “This story tells it all.” Sahar, who started working with the forces when she was just 15 years old, heard countless stories like this that both enraged her and strengthened her resolve to contribute to changing Afghanistan. She worked nearly every day as the main liason between foreign non-governmental organizations, the Afghan Department of Women’s Affairs, the United Nations and the Canadian and American forces. Her work ensured that everyone understood each other at meetings about everything from literacy, embroidery and women’s health to agriculture, the economy, education and law. She took notes at divorce court, spoke to the country’s chief justices and taught the forces about Afghanistan’s customs. Through it all, the Taliban threatened her life, followed her to school and harassed her on the street. Her family and friends, even people for whom she translated, told her she was crazy to work for the forces and urged her to leave the job because, as the only woman, she was far more visible to the Taliban than the male interpreters, many of whom were also targeted for assassination. Others said she was a “bad girl” and that her father had sold her to the soldiers. But Sahar persisted, feeling a duty to the people she feels liberated her country. “The military came to Afghanistan. They gave us this opportunity to be educated and they’re the ones who are on the front lines with the terrorists to fight so that we have a better life in Afghanistan. If they’re willing to help us, if they’re willing to lose their heads — to die — for our country … Well, we’re Afghans. That’s our country. We have to die for that as well.” Sahar was born in 1994 during the Afghan civil war. When the Taliban came out on top, she says, a cloud fell over every Afghan, but it was particularly dark for women. She pushes out her chin and clenches her fists when she recalls the injustices she experienced first hand: “I was locked up. We were not having any school. We couldn’t work. We were like animals living in a cage.” In 2002, after NATO troops invaded and occupied her country, Sahar recalls a “time of freedom” where men and women gathered in the streets, started attending school and celebrated national holidays. At eight years old, it was the first time Sahar remembers seeing what her country could be. <a href=" Wars 2.gw2.Gold.Info.aspx">guild wars 2 gold</a> “I was very active. I performed in theatre productions, read poems, participated in presentations in front of a thousand people. And my parents never had to call to check up on us.” “I have seen bodies on the road: a head here, a hand there, a body across the way,” she says almost nonchalantly, as if every 13 year old girl can relate. Her family home was destroyed twice by explosions nearby: “Dishes, windows, my computer, the fridge: everything was broken and turned upside down.” Schools in her neighbourhood were burned down. The day after the Taliban threw acid in the faces of 15 girls on their way to school, Sahar was among the handful of students who showed up for class. “My father didn’t stop us. He said ‘If something’s going to happen to you, it’s going to happen even if you sit home. It’s better to go to school. <a href=" Wars 2.gw2.Gold.Info.aspx">guild wars 2 gold</a> ’” So, she left the house every morning at 8 a.m. and her mother didn’t breathe easy until she walked in the door at 4 p.m. If they were a few minutes late, her cellphone would already be ringing. Sahar’s father, Ibrahimi, was her most important supporter. Without his approval, she would not have been free to work or go to school. From the outset, he knew international forces would leave Afghanistan eventually, so he encouraged his children — especially his daughters — to take advantage of the opportunity. With the 2014 winding down of the mission fast approaching, Sahar recalls his mantra: “Go to school. Get educated. Try to be excellent students and try to make something of yourself.” Sahar speaks highly of her father’s views on education. But, when it comes to his ideas about women’s rights, she shakes her head. “My father is a good father but he’s a horrible husband. He beats my mom all the time. But, he says, ‘If your mom was educated, if your mom was able to support herself financially, she wouldn’t stay with me.’” The irony is not lost on Sahar. “He wants us to know our rights so that our husbands don’t beat us, but he started beating my mom eight days after their wedding.” In some ways, it illustrates the changes Sahar sees happening slowly in Afghanistan: “Our fathers treat their daughters better than their wives. This is how I will have a totally different life from my mom.” Now in Canada, Sahar and her mother may as well be living on different planets. <a href=" Wars 2.gw2.Gold.Info.aspx">gw2 gold</a> She has criss-crossed the country with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, teaching military personnel on their way to Afghanistan about the country’s customs, particularly women’s issues. She also works as an interpreter at Reception House — an Ottawa organization that welcomes refugees and immigrants to the city — where Sahar lived for two months when she first arrived. Through the Afghan Interpreter Immigration Program, the federal government provides $750 a month to cover housing, food and other expenses. All alone in a new country, Sahar almost gave up looking for lodging when, after two months, she still hadn’t found a place to live. “I was so exhausted and so depressed,” she said. “I almost booked my ticket back to Afghanistan so I could be with my family. I said, my life was in danger there but at least I wasn’t homeless.” That’s when Claude Desilets, a Canadian soldier with whom she’d worked in Kandahar, stepped in. He put Sahar in touch with Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, an organization that raises money for women’s education in Afghanistan. Through them, Sahar met Helen Hayward who rents her a room in her lowertown home for a nominal fee. More importantly, Sahar said she appreciates Hayward’s advice and emotional support. “I really respect her opinion because I don’t have parents here and it’s really important for me to have advice from somebody older,” she said, as it’s difficult for her parents to understand her new life. “When I came to Canada, I changed right away. I said to myself ‘I’m in a different country. I have rights here and I have to practice them.’” Sahar threw away her head scarf as her plane touched down in Dubai — the first stop on her trip to Ottawa. For her, it was a symbol of the oppression she’d suffered and getting rid of it was a symbol of her new freedom. She says her faith is still important to her but she doesn’t practice it the way she used to. “Some people believe that if you don’t pray five times a day, if you don’t recite holy Koran, then you’re not a perfect Muslim, but I don’t see it that way.” “In Afghanistan, the Taliban is violent in the name of Islam. But that is not Islam. For me, Islam is a peaceful religion. For me, to treat people very well, to be helpful, to be kind. That is my religion.” Of course she doesn’t tell her parents this during their monthly conversations. She wears a scarf when talking to them on Skype. She also keeps quiet about feeling lonely. She doesn’t tell them she’s afraid to walk down the street alone after dark. She doesn’t want to them to worry. Sahar makes sure to be home before the sun sets. She said she’s experienced harassment on Ottawa’s streets which, for her, was a wake-up call: “In Afghanistan, I always had to be scared about my safety and, when I was coming to Canada, I thought I wouldn’t have to care about it anymore. But, now I know there are bad people everywhere, even though I’m in Canada.” Her biggest worry, however, has nothing to do with her personal safety. Last week she was accepted to Carleton University but, with the hurdle of her application and acceptance out of the way, the burden of how to afford tuition weighs heavy. “I need a scholarship because I don’t have anyone to take care of me,” she said. “I have to support myself.” Sahar carries the lives of her two best friends with her. She relies on the memory of what they could have accomplished, given the chance, and it pushes her towards her goals. Rabia Saddat and Hosi Saleh were gunned down by the Taliban soon after graduating high school in 2009. “They were young. They were ambitious. They wanted to do something for their future, for their country.” She pauses, looking down at her feet. “Sometimes I still think about them. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me sad thinking they’re not in this world anymore.” Despite the hardships she faced there and the frustration she feels with the pace of change, Sahar says she misses Afghanistan every day. “My blood is in that soil,” she says of the country where her family still lives in fear. For Saddat and Saleh, for her mother and her sister, for every woman in Afghanistan, Sahar dreams of returning to Afghanistan to run for office and push her country forward. Some of her friends say they can’t understand why she would consider going back. They tell her the country is too far gone to recover from decades of war. But Sahar says, with help from foreign forces, the country is healing. “We are getting educated. We are dying to get education. There have been changes in Afghanistan but the only people who recognize it are the ones who’ve lived through it.” “I’m not crazy,” she says. “I will do it. Watch me. I will do it.” Sahar’s friend Michelle Caron has created an education fund at TD Bank branch 3312, account number 6401626. Those wishing to donate can do so at any TD branch. xboter 2014
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