15 January 2009

Afghan girls defy terror, embrace school

Not even having acid thrown on their faces by Islamic fundamentalists has deterred these girls from attending schools in Kandahar, Afghanistan, reports Dexter Filkens for The New York Times. Follow the link to the rest of the story, which begins below. Access may require registration, which is free.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan—One morning two months ago, Shamsia Husseini and her sister were walking through the muddy streets to the local girls school when a man pulled alongside them on a motorcycle and posed what seemed like an ordinary question.

“Are you going to school?”

Then the man pulled Shamsia’s burqa from her head and sprayed her face with burning acid. Scars, jagged and discolored, now spread across Shamsia’s eyelids and most of her left cheek. These days, her vision goes blurry, making it hard for her to read.

But if the acid attack against Shamsia and 14 others—students and teacher —was meant to terrorize the girls into staying home, it appears to have completely failed.