To get a true sense of the tragedy unfolding in Afghanistan right now, listen to this NPR interview with Rangina Hamidi, the country’s acting education minister.
She’s in Kabul but has watched her home city of Kandahar fall this week to the Taliban, the same wretched band of zealots who assassinated her father when he was mayor.
Hamidi, who lived for years in the U.S. before returning, discusses the gains made over the last 20 years in educational opportunities for women, nonexistent under Taliban rule. Despair and a sense of defeat cling to every word as she reckons with what will be lost:
And I believe I’ve done a lot, not only me, but everybody who did their best to make the best out of our opportunity — our limited opportunity and limited resources that we’ve had recently — but we were hoping to still have a peaceful and a slowly progressive, prosperous life. And unfortunately, all of those dreams and hopes seem to be ending. As the situation unfolds itself, holding on to that hope is becoming grimmer and grimmer, day by day.