Adela, principal and literacy teacher

AdelaAs well as being a mother of five children I am a teacher, too, who saw black days in her life, having been beaten several times by the Taliban during their period. But I never stopped my work; I continued to struggle all the time, fighting for the education of illiterate women.

I graduated from Surya High School in Kabul in 1986. From 1997 to today I am a teacher of illiterate women. I am proud to be a teacher of women who have much pain inside; I am friendly with my students, this help me to be close with them, and the students feel confidence to share with me their stories and the problems they are facing. Most of the time I give them suggestions how to behave with the men who create problems for them, how to struggle and defend their rights in a legal way.

I had a literacy center at home during the Taliban Regime, but the classes were underground. With much fear students wore burqas coming to the class; some of my students were followed and beaten by Taliban. The students told me if they guessed that Taliban followed them they changed their directions several times. One day the Taliban followed the students without their knowing, at when they entered my house they started abusing us and saying harsh words to the women. I was screaming that these are my guests, but they said: "Are you teaching your guests?" They started beating me and the students, tore their books, and took my 12 year old son to jail. They warned me: "If we find you with the students again we will not accept any excuse; we will put you to death." There was a bad noise from all of us weeping and screaming; some students were badly injured. After this happened I locked my house from inside and the students came to the center late at night.

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