A teenage Afghan girl who had acid thrown in her face for attending school vows to go back to school, “even if they kill me.”
An Afghan teenager whose face was burned in an acid attack by suspected extremists vowed from her hospital bed on Saturday to continue going to school even if it put her life in danger.
Men on motorbikes used a water pistol to spray acid into the faces of Shamsia and around dozen other girls as they arrived at school, wearing burqas in the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday.
Shamsia, 17, was the most badly injured and had some acid enter her eyes.
She was transferred to a military hospital in Kabul where she was visited on Saturday by other schoolgirls, accompanied by media.
“I will go to my school even if they kill me,” she told reporters. “My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”It is not clear who carried out the attack which President Hamid Karzai and other officials blamed on the “enemies of Afghanistan” — a broad term that most often refers to Taliban insurgents.
Now, I want you to pause for a second and think about the raw courage on display here, and consider the challenges faced by others elsewhere as we commiserate our own in extreme relative comfort.
And also pause to reflect on the nature of the enemy we face, and come to grips with the concept that it will take an entire generation to win the wider war of ideas against this enemy.
This Afghan girl, by simply going to school, joins these people who are not afraid.
Yes, it will take at least a generation to win (defined as reducing the risk of radical Islamic terrorism to a nuisance rather than a mass murdering national security threat). But there is a foothold in Afghanistan, and an entire leg up in Iraq. We dare not shrink now and squander it.
Think about this Afghan girl this week when you are tempted to complain about the situation at home, whether politically, economically, or otherwise.