Rabina: “I want the world to know that Afghanistan is more than just about war and that women here are much more than the oppressed images shown by the media."

PARSA
Posted July 26, 2019 from Afghanistan
Afghan Girls raising their voices
Rabina, 10 years ago was an impoverished "orphan" and today she is employed by PARSA and planning on being a journalist.

“I will give the world a positive message”, said Rabina.  “I want the world to know that Afghanistan is more than just about war and that women here are much more than the oppressed images shown by the media.  We have sports, we have opportunities, we are hardworking and we are the future of this country.  I want to become a journalist because we need a platform to have our voices heard”.

Born in Iran, where her parents had fled when the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the late nineties, Rabina came to Kabul when she was three years old.  She recalls that life was difficult for her family and her father died a few years later from diabetes.  With no one to support them, her mother went to Marastoon and found refuge there for herself, Rabina and Rabina’s younger brother and sister.  It was here, at age eleven, that Rabina joined the Scouts and, as she says, “became more social and learned how to act properly”.

Not only that, but the Scouts motivated her and pushed her to have goals.  Initially, she thought she would inevitably become a doctor because that is what all the other Scouts aspired to, but she soon realized there were lots of options and she set her mind to becoming a journalist.  She graduated from the Michelle Bayat School at Marastoon and is now in her first year of university.  In the meantime, she and her family had left Marastoon after 10 years and are now living in the nearby Afshar district.  Her mother completely supports her family by working as a cook in a hotel in Shar-e-naw.  “My mother is my rock, my champion, and my inspiration”, says Rabina.

Rabina is also inspired by the famous Afghan singer Aryana Sayeed, not for her stardom, but for the example, she sets for Afghan women.  “No one wanted her to sing.  They said it wasn’t right for a woman, but she did it anyway and she showed us that no one can stop us and that we have to reach our goals”.  Rabina gives credit to PARSA, too, for motivating her.  “PARSA is a joyful place, where we can be ourselves and no one tries to silence us or tell us something isn’t possible just because we are girls”.

Now eighteen years old, Rabina has a busy life.  She attends an English class at PARSA every morning for two hours, and then works the rest of the day as a Scout manager, coordinating and supervising the activities of three troops of girls.  In the evening she attends university to pursue her ambition of becoming a journalist.  When asked about the risks of being a female journalist in Afghanistan, she doesn’t hesitate to say, “I love my country.  I have to do this”.

Comments 10

Log in or register to post comments
maeann
Jul 26
Jul 26

Dear Parsa,

Thank you sharing the story of Rabina. This is a brave dream that she should aim to be heard. Give my encouragement to her.... Keep it up :)

PARSA
Jul 27
Jul 27

Will do, thank you!

Jill Langhus
Jul 27
Jul 27

Hello there dear,

Welcome back:-) Thanks for sharing Rubina's inspiring story and also a little about what your organization does, too. It sounds like Rubina will be a great role model for other girls and women in her community, and beyond! Please let me know if you have a website and/or social media page(s) so I can like and follow them.

Looking forward to seeing more about your organization is doing for girls and women!

PARSA
Jul 27
Jul 27

Hi Jill, thank you for writing. We are active online - our website is www.afghanistan-parsa.org, and we are also active on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Links below. Thank you again!
https://www.facebook.com/PARSAafghanistan/
https://www.instagram.com/parsa_afghanistan/
https://twitter.com/parsa_org

Jill Langhus
Jul 28
Jul 28

You're very welcome! Thanks for sharing your website and social pages. I'm following your FB and Twitter pages now. You may want to consider adding these to your future posts so everyone can follow your important work, too! I'm looking forward to seeing more stories from you, and hope you have a great week!!

Beth Lacey
Jul 27
Jul 27

Thanks for sharing this great story

PARSA
Jul 27
Jul 27

Thank you for the comment, Beth!

Hello, PARSA,

What an inspiring story Rabina has! How commendable you are for helping her achiever her dreams, too.

It’s a relief to know that there are to Afghanistan than war and oppressed women. This is great indeed.

May you empower more women! Please keep writing more stories and updates. Thank you!

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 23
Aug 23

Hello, I am so glad to know about the work that PARSA is doing, and to learn about Rabina. What strength, and how lovely to know that Rabina is so close to and has been inspired by her mother. Breaking through the myths and lack of real news about Afghanistan and about the work being done by women in your country is such important information. It is so true that the mainstream news keeps us uninformed as a strategy. This is why I love the sharing of real news that we do here on World Pulse. Sending love and support to this young journalist.

Nabila Abbas
Sep 20
Sep 20

Wow, thanks dear for sharing such a powerful story. It has changed my perception towards Afghani women :) I loved it