Taliban Restrictions & Assignments

“What’s the matter, Honey?” Dushan asked Chioma.

“Remember how I told you that I really wanted that assignment on the latest Taliban restrictions on Afghan women?”

“Yes.”

“Well, Lydia decided to send Josh, one of our male reporters instead.”

“Did she tell you why she decided to send him instead of you?”

“She said that Afghanistan has long been an extremely dangerous place to be a female journalist.”

“So, she was thinking of your safety.”

“Yes although, I could have tried to do what Zahra Joya, the Afghan journalist did.”

“What did she do?”

“Years after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan and banned girls’ education, she dressed in boys’ clothing and walked two hours to and from school every day.”

“Are you seriously telling me that you would have dressed as a man, risking your life just to cover a story?”

“I know it sounds ridiculous but journalists take risks.”

“Chioma, I don’t want you taking any risks.”

“Don’t worry, I wouldn’t.”

“I can see that you’re very disappointed that you aren’t going to take a trip to Afghanistan but I must admit that I’m very relieved. I would go out of my mind worrying about you.”

“I couldn’t do that to you.”

“Did she give you another assignment?”

“Not yet but she said that as soon as something came up, she would call me right away.”

“I hope it will be an interview with another phenomenal woman like Zahra Joya.”

“The woman who disguised herself as a boy?”

“Yes. I should mention that after the U.S. invaded her country in 2001, she dropped her disguise, completed her education and enrolled as a law student before becoming a journalist.”

“Good for her.”

“She was on the cover of TIME’s Women of the Year double issue which came out in March. She’s one of 12 leaders working toward a more equal world. Angelina Jolie interviewed her. She’s only 29 and has founded Rukhshana Media which focuses on stories by and about Afghan women. I was on their website today and read the article on Afghanistan face veil decree. One woman said that she has lost her right to choose her clothes. What the Taliban has put in place has absolutely nothing to do with religion. I read online that in Qur’an, verse 49:13 and other verses, God created humans from male and female. Regardless of differences such as race, gender, etc, the Qur’an regards them as equals and only ranks humans based on their moral choices and piety. God created men and women from the same soul, as guardians of each other in a relationship of cooperation not domination.

“It’s the same with the Bible, isn’t it? The woman was made from Adam’s side which denotes equality. And even after sin entered the world and the man became head of the woman, he was never meant to dominate or subjugate her.”

“Yes and when the Bible teaches that a wife should submit to her husband, it says she must do so as to Jesus who is the Head of the church. A husband and wife are partners. They are one flesh. A man is to love his wife as he loves himself. There is no master and slave in a marriage.”

“I love being your husband and your partner. And I’m happy that we live in a country where women have the right to education and the right to travel alone.”

She smiled. “And I love being your wife and partner.”

He started towards her when the phone rang. Grimacing at the interruption, he walked over to the table beside the sofa picked up the receiver. “Hello?” he listened for a moment and then, said, “Hang on, she’s right here.” He held the receiver out to Chioma. “It’s your boss.”

She took it from him. “Hello, Lydia.”

Dushan watched as she wrote something down.

When she hung, she faced him. “I got an assignment,” she announced.

“From the smile on your face I can tell it’s something very good.”

“It is. I get to interview Isla Payne, a human rights lawyer who helped female lawyers and judges escape from Afghanistan after the Taliban took power. Most of the women are in Greece for now but she’s hoping that they would soon reach their final destination elsewhere in Europe.”

“That sounds like a very interesting story.”

“It does and I don’t have to travel anywhere. I will be doing the interview at her office here in London.”

“When is the interview?”

“On Wednesday.”

“I’m looking forward to reading it as much as I’m looking forward to reading your article on the Super Creations Festival in Manchester which you attended last week Saturday.”

“I wish you could have been there to see the remarkable contributions made by women and girls from all over the world to Science, Medicine, and Technology.”

“Me too.”

“Well, I have several things to do to prepare for the interview on Wednesday. I have to do some research on my interviewee. Think of and write down questions I plan to ask. The location has already been taken care of and I always carry my recorder in my bag.”

“So, you’ll be staying up late tonight?”

“No. I want to go to bed now. Coming?” She gave him ‘the look’

In a matter of minutes, the lights were turned off, she was caught up in his arms and carried to the bedroom.

Sources: Aljazeera; TIME; Independent; US News; CBC Radio; The Story Shack; Rev

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