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We Are Still Here

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Member Reviews

This was a powerful book, presenting the perspectives of various Afghan women. I think there needs to be more anthologies like this. The Afghan people are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis and the world needs to be more aware.
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What an extraordinary collaboration of powerful stories. As a woman, my heart breaks for these women. It’s a definite must read, regardless of gender. 
It was hard to get through at times, not because of quality or dryness but from the heavy topics.
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This book is an homage and a testament to the strength and will of many women around the world. To women that live still under the chains of oppression in any of the multiple forms that it may assume. Each essay and interview is written by an Afghan woman. They reflect on her ties to her motherland, their work, and their meaning to the future of their country. 
It obviously centers its content on the contemporary case of Afghanistan, a land that seems so plagued by the guise of good intentions as by war. 

"What the world did was try to show Afghans how to live. That was not necessary and never had been. Westerners, myself included in the early years, thought we were showing Afghanistan democracy. We thought we were bringing Afghanistan ideas on how to include women as leaders in society. This is nonsense that we believed was necessary because we only had a view from the outside. But Afghans have had women in leadership throughout history. Afghans simply needed to trust that the space was safe, not to be told how to live. And they can only trust the space if it is their own." (Mina Sharif, p. 96)

These texts leave behind several sour thoughts. 

Firstly, how disconnected the Western world is from relatives that do not fit within their perception of how things ought to function. Yes, Afghanistan has had its issues when it comes to men's and women's rights, but this is due to an extremist faction of the population. This group's influence on the rest of society has more to do with their violent and oppressive methods than with their ideology. As pointed out by the writers of this book, they have lived in peace at several points in history and were, even more, open up to the outside in the last 20 years. By allowing the Taliban to conquer the government, the West also allows all of this progress and the richness of the Afghan culture to be jeopardized. 

Secondly, how we, as Europeans and Americans, are free to "switch off" from what is going on in Afghanistan. From last year to the week that marked one year of the Taliban invasion, few news outlets have taken the time to delve into what is happening, and how the Afghan people are holding up unless some big event takes place. But Afghan women Are Still Here. They Are Still Here to remember us of how brave they are, and of how they will keep fighting for their rights until their voices are heard.
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A must read for any female. Thanks for the ARC. I’m an army veteran who served in Afghanistan and I’m devastated by what the Taliban is doing. I’m so impressed with these women in this book and wish them all the best in their endeavors.
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We Are Still Here
Afghan Women on Courage, Freedom, and the Fight to Be Heard
Foreword by Margaret Atwood
Edited by Nahid Shahalimi

published: August 16, 2022


"Listen to these women. See them. See their commitment to freedom and their rights. See them in a new light. They are not victims. They never were. They do not need regrets; they need a platform, support, and solidarity." 

This is a collection of 13 powerful, raw, emotional, intelligent, and informative stories told by Afghan women who all in some way were affected by the regime in Afghanistan. First-hand experiences shared by these women left me moved and inspired.  I would recommend it to everyone. Especially those readers who want to educate themselves and learn about issues and the lack of human rights women face in Afghanistan. 

"My generation helped build a society from the ground up—and now we have lost it all again. However, there must be hope! The situation must not remain like this! We will achieve change again and a civilized society that strives for freedom, justice, and equality."
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A book couldn’t be more timely or important. Margaret Atwood is the precisely right person to give a foreword as a bridge to the Western reader and to underscore the severity of the issue at hand. Afghanistan’s women carry the tumult of the instability and the new world backward under the Taliban in ways that we can hardly imagine. Thank you so much to Nahid Shahalimi for collecting these works and to the authors themselves for the courage it has taken to share their experiences. If we want to claim any sort of global community, we cannot turn our backs on 50% of the human race.
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This is a great collection of essays from individuals directly impacted/have unique insight to the impact of change of regime in Afghanistan 12 months ago.  The writing hugely varies between the different authors, but this does not take away from the content of the stories.  Initially when I started to read each story, I was horrified, but as I read more, it made me realise if we were to imagine the details of the regime, we might imagine as it is written.  It really is horrifying what is happening.  So whilst an appalling read, if you do want to  know more, I would recommend it.
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Stories are so inspiring and empowering. This is definetly for you if you want to read about strong women and women's rights. This book really gives these women the recognition they deserve. I think it would be good for a lot of people to read this and to learn about Afghanistan and the current situation women there live in.
I loved how the essays about these women were not too long. They are the perfect length to keep your attention and without repeating itself.
I also realy like the changing of layout throughout the book. Some stories about these women were written in an essay-style, while others were written in more of an interviewstyle. 
After a while it felt like the stories weren't new anymore. That is the reason why I decided to rate it 4 stars. It was good but it did not keep me interested throughout the entire book.
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Nahid Shahalimi has collected interviews from women who led in the women's rights movement in Afghanistan. From artists to journalists to government and NGO leaders, each woman has a unique story of courage and resilience but also a similar experience of frustration. Many of the women left Afghanistan in their childhood but returned as young adults when the Taliban lost power. They experienced years of growth and progress as Afghanistan was being transformed into a country that acknowledged the need for education for women and the contributions that women could make across the country. However, that all changed when the United States left Afghanistan and returned the Taliban to power. Many of these women were then forced to leave Afghanistan once more as their lives were in danger. 
The stories are inspirational in that they show the strength and courage of women, but it is also heartbreaking that many of the achievements have now been wiped away by the new Taliban government. The women in this book believe that the situation may change once more if the international community, and especially the US and the United Nations, will speak out against the abuses of women.
Recommended for anyone concerned about women's rights and who want to gain a perspective on the history of Afghanistan and how women have fought and struggled to achieve recognition in a society that is totally repressed.
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