MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Zainab, a 17-year-old girl from northern Faryab province, who has made a replica of the Hazrat Ali Shrine, urges the government to reopen the gates of schools to girls with the start of the new solar year.
Zainab Taghachi is an 11th grade student at Sitara High School in Maimana city.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, she said the ban on girls’ education about six grades had negatively affected her psyche, but she tried to coup with the problem and she started painting and making crafts besides revising her lessons.
Zainab recently made a replica of the Roza (shrine) in Mazar-i-Sharif using paper and cardboard.
“I didn’t rest at home after the closure of schools… with a few resources of charts, cardboard, pens, paints, I made the replica of the Blue Mosque with a height of 60 centimeters and completed it within three weeks.”
Zainab was pleased that she had been able to do something during the time she spent out of school.
She added: “In our society, engineering and architecture is considered men’s job and they think girls do not have the talent to do engineering, but by making the replica of the Rawza of Mazar, I proved that Allah has given men and women the same intellect.”
Concerned about the continued closure of girls’ schools, she hoped they would be reopened one-day: “Acquiring knowledge is obligatory for men and women, the progress of a country depends on the literacy of its men and women.”
“The closing of schools has negatively affected my and other girls’ mental health,” she added.
She said she would continue her studies with the help of her parents and professors at home to reach to the goals she had set for her future.
She asked other girls barred from schools and university not to be disappointed and to revise their lessons at home.
Zainab’s classmate Mursal, who was upset about the closure of schools, said she spent most of her time with Zainab and they jointly reviewed their lessons.
Mursal also asked the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to open schools and universities for girls in the new solar year.
She said Zainab was a talented, hardworking, kind and cooperative girl.
“Zainab is an intelligent girl, she has always come first till 11th class,” she added.
Abdullah Taghachi, Zainab’s grandfather, told Pajhwok: “Zainab is a smart girl, and she has consecutively come first in every class until 11th.
He added that in the last two years when Zainab stayed away from school besides studying her lessons, she made the replica of the Mazar Mosque with meager facilities.
Soraya Ahadi, former director of Sitara High School, said: “When I heard Zainab, who is my student, has built the replica of the Mazar-i-Sharif historical monument, I was very happy and came to pay my respect to her.”
She said Zainab was more interested in lessons and teaching, drawing and painting… but the closure of schools has affected and disappointed her.
Referring to the university entrance exam, she asked the caretaker government to allow girls to sit the exam because the society desperately needed female doctors, midwives, teachers, engineers, attorneys and economists. “Without the participation of women, the growth and development of the country is impossible”.