Over the past week, the world has watched as Afghanistan’s government collapsed and the Taliban secured the rule of the country.
Now, questions are circling about what will happen next, especially for women and girls, who under the last period of Taliban rule were denied access to education and the ability to work.
The female voices that have flourished in Afghanistan over the past 20 years must still be celebrated. Since the Taliban was ousted by US-led forces, women and girls, especially in urban centers such as Kabul, have realized some broader freedoms. The arts have been a means by which some of them have sought to make their voices heard. But today the clock is ticking.
Afghan artists around the world support their compatriots in these uncertain days. Despite the fact that they work hundreds of kilometers far from their homeland, their heart remains unchanged.
A couple of days earlier, before the Taliban took over Kabul, artist Sara Rahmani was sitting at her home in California far away from her homeland Afghanistan. She was sketching a beautiful artwork with a sad yet powerful meaning of what is happening in Afghanistan.
“I just started this painting of (a) beautiful girl as usual, because I love to show the beautiful sides of my people, my culture, and our beautiful kids over there,” she said.
‘Ray Of Hope’
Sara Rahmani, who moved from Kabul to the US four years ago, made a drawing showing both the beauty and desperation in Afghanistan.
Her art feels like a testament to the strength and resilience of Afghan women but also able to continue to envision hope.
In the bottom left of the painting, we can see the colors of Afghanistan’s national flag. Two women wearing traditional dresses, with braids and jewelry showing the country’s culture. One is performing a traditional dance, while the other is writing “peace” in Farsi.
Sara depicts the suffering endured by her compatriots in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.
The scarf on the girl’s head is green — the color of peace, joy, and happiness. The right side is gray. There are depictions of the desperate people who reportedly fell from a US military aircraft. People waiting at the gate of the airport and the guy who is just trying to send his baby.
Women and children are increasingly bearing the brunt of the violence and makeup around half of all civilian casualties.
“I always wanted to show the best pictures of my country through my artworks, but today nothing left for us we went back 20 years ago. My dear Afghanistan on behalf of the world I’m sorry for the world’s silence.” Sara Rahmani
For a young artist, art is the only way she can support women in Afghanistan. Through her art, she informs the world about the situation in his homeland. She wants to help especially women whose fate is uncertain. Rahmani knows that she is looking for strength.
Even before the latest escalation in violence, half the population required humanitarian assistance. Forty years of war, chronic poverty, climate change-driven natural disasters, and now COVID-19 are a deadly combination for people in Afghanistan. Fifty percent of those in need in Afghanistan are women and girls.
Will this beautiful country ever have any other chance?