The Silenced Cry: One Woman's Diary of a Journey to Afghanistan

The Silenced Cry: One Woman's Diary of a Journey to Afghanistan

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0312303513

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Inspired by a lecture in Barcelona given by a leading member of RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan), the radical feminist women's group who work under cover as the only real opposition to the Taliban, Ana Tortajada, an experienced Spanish journalist, decided to make a trip to Afghanistan in the summer of 2000. She wanted to learn more about the lives of Afghan women, to visit their homes and the places where they worked as clandestine teachers and doctors, to meet their families, to listen to their stories, and see how they lived under the veil.

Tortajada's journey takes her from the slums and refugee camps in Peshawar, along the Pakistani-Afghan border, to Kabul. She writes about the revolutionary efforts of RAWA, the genocidal campaign of the Taliban to extinguish the Hazara ethnicity in Afghanistan, the failure of the international community to ameliorate the alarming situation of Afghan refugees, and offers a first-hand account of the atrocities Afghan women have been suffering at the hands of the Taliban.

The Silenced Cry is not only timely, but also compelling. With extremely evocative and poetic writing, Tortajada conveys the beauty of the landscape, and the wonderfully inspiring optimism of the people. In heart wrenching detail, we see just how debilitated and wretched the conditions were, yet we also see people who still fought for freedom, democracy, and basic human rights. Candid and compassionate, never condescending or pitying, The Silenced Cry is a human, approachable, and provocative look at the best and worst in the human spirit.

Senses of the Subject

The War of the Sexes: How Conflict and Cooperation Have Shaped Men and Women from Prehistory to the Present

Same-Sex Desire in Victorian Religious Culture

Political Culture in the Reign of Elizabeth I: Queen and Commonwealth 1558-1585 (Ideas in Context)

Feminine Lost: Why Most Women are Male
















undyed wool from side to side of the weft, so as to reinforce the fabric. They work at an incredible rate. The woman shows us the design that she has sketched out on a piece of graph paper. She counts line after line as she weaves, so she will know when to change the color of the wool to reproduce the intended design exactly. In this phase of the process the ultimate design is indistinguishable; the part thus far woven looks simply like a tangled bunch of threads. Once all the knots are made, the

intersection, a tall and thin man approaches us. His cheekbones jut out above hollow, sunken cheeks covered by his beard. Dark, curly hair pokes out from beneath his small, round, simple cap. Slung over his shoulder is the traditional large kerchief that Afghan men use either as a turban or as a bundle for carrying things. He wants to sell us a pair of small statues he carries in his hands: two metallic birds, their wings spread above a wooden foot. He says they’re silver, from the museum in

dry with. Back in the market we’d seen vendors roaming the streets, laden with veritable multicolored mountains of such towels. I take note of the practicality of always carrying a towel with you in your purse, to have in case of need. Inside, the dining room is empty; we are the only customers. In the back of the room is a raised dais with four seats upholstered in red velvet, making them seem almost like thrones. “They’re for hosting weddings here,” our Afghan friends inform us. “The

piled all our clothes and other belongings in the middle of the house, doused them with gasoline, and set fire to it all. We had to grab what we could and run. This was eight months ago. We left on foot. The Taliban offered to take me with them, but of course I wouldn’t, since I have two teenage daughters. So we started walking in the middle of the night: me, my sick husband, and our nine children. Around dawn, I went into labor, and gave birth to my son in the middle of the road. Then we picked

SHAH: 1929–1933 • Sees a return to a harsh Islamic conservatism. • Soviet influence is replaced by a greater British presence. • A massive repression of Amanullah supporters is carried out, and many intellectuals and members of the Constitutional Movement are either murdered or imprisoned. • Nadir Shah is assassinated by a student. THE REIGN OF MUHAMMAD ZAHIR SHAH: 1933–1973 • Muhammad Zahir is very young when he rises to the throne, and rules under the tutelage of his family, especially

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