Commander Kaftar (Dove)

 The story of Commander Kaftar (dove):

Bibi Ayesha wasn't like the other girls in her village. Her father was the village elder, and she would always follow him to work, to his speeches in the masjid, to his meetings with the other elders. She would be fascinated by the way her father would speak and lead the others. She wanted to be like him when she grew up.

Her father never minded her company. As a matter of fact, he would always praise her, claiming that she would be more useful to him than all his other sons combined, and she would swell with pride.

Even when she grew up, her father would let her accompany him. He didn't care that after a certain age, girls were expected to stay at home and take on housewife duties. Ayesha was different. Eventually when he passed, she took over his position and continued to lead her community the way he had taught her.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, she knew that everything was at stake. She decided to pick up her weapon, and lead her community to defend themselves against the invasion.

Bibi Ayesha spent most of her years like this, spending the days defending her village and the nights planning and strategizing. Her bravery was soon known to many.

After the retreat of the Soviets, she thought her community might finally see peace. The Taliban proved otherwise, coming into power and threatening the safety of her people. When they tried to take over her village, she taunted them, claiming that they would be shamed for a lifetime if a woman defeated them. Through her courage and wit, she continued to keep her people safe.

Ayesha knew she would spend the rest of her life defending her community, her people. She would never accept defeat. She never had, and she never would.

This is the story of Qumandan Kaftar, a woman in Baghlan Afghanistan who has been fighting against the Soviets, and the Taliban. She is a prominent leader and has broken the oppressive stereotypes and practices regarding women in Afghanistan. All the more power to her.


Story and illustration by @rasmorawaj ©

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