Stories from Afghanistan – Mobina

“Despite all the unfairness, oppression, injustice and difficulties, I keep going on. I want to be a changemaker.”

I am student in the Education Department at Jawzjan University, majoring in physics. It’s my second semester here. We were living in the city before the Taliban takeover of Jawzjan, but then we moved to our village. We had a very bad economic situation back in our village, so we emigrated to Iran.

After a few months, Jawzjan University reopened, but I was in Iran. I asked an acquaintance of mine to go to the university and request a deferral year for me, but the university officials didn’t allow it. I was counted as absent that year. We came back to Afghanistan after some time. Then, I solved my issues with the university and restarted my education.  

On returning to university, I found that a lot of things had changed, especially for women. Some of these changes meant requiring women to wear the burqa or black robes, not wearing high heels (and only black shoes), not strolling around the campus, not using their cell phones, and that, most significantly, underqualified teachers had been recruited.  

I suffer from a hearing problem. Back in Iran, I wanted to cure it, but my doctor’s appointment was three months away and it was very costly for me. I couldn’t get the ear surgery, and we came back to Afghanistan. I still suffer from this hearing problem. I have pain in my ear.  

In the meantime, the university environment feels very unsafe. The Taliban requires us to wear the burqa or black robes. We aren’t even allowed to enter the university without this clothing. One cannot wear the same black clothes every day, some days it gets stained, dirty, or some other thing. Once, I wore a different colour dress and I wasn’t allowed into the university. I argued with the Taliban who were controlling access to the university gate for a very long, but in the end, I was granted entry.  

The Jawzjan female students who took the university entrance exam this year were really hardworking students. They got admitted to Kabul or Mazar medical universities [which they cannot travel to]. They deserved more, they should have been admitted to Paktia or Nangarhar medical schools. This disappointed the women.

“However we still have hope. We Believe that one day we can study what we want and where we want.
We do what we have the power to do.”

Why does the Taliban do this to us? We are just girls. What have we done to them? What have we done?

We must work harder than ever (and everyone). I attend the university despite my hearing problem. I should treat my ear, but I have economic problems, I cannot afford it.  

The girls are in a very difficult situation at the university now. A few days ago, we received a new set of instructions from the Taliban. We are now required to avoid wearing designed robes. Our robes shouldn’t have glitter. The robe should be plain black. How can we afford to buy new robes every time they ask for it? Especially in these difficult times – under the Taliban most people are jobless.

Why were the girls bombed at an educational centre in Kabul? What did they do? They were full of hope. Can you imagine what their parents are going through now? Girls, in general, are in a very difficult situation. What should we do? Who listens to us?  

I cannot sit for long hours. If I do, I feel an ache in my ear. I cannot wear the burqa for long either, because I cannot breathe well under it. There are numerous problems. Which one should I tell first?  
I wish to be healthy and continue my education. I wish to become successful and a changemaker in my community.

However, none of this can come true under the Taliban. The Taliban has even prohibited women from working in de facto offices. Why would the Taliban do that? Why not hire women for these positions? Why are women deprived of their right to work? Women can do jobs very well.  

Originally published on After August