After seeing photographs of black-clad Afghan ladies in full face veils at a pro-Taliban rally in Kabul, Bahar Jalali, an Afghan-American historian, launched a marketing campaign highlighting the colourful colours of conventional Afghan attire.
“I used to be very involved that the world would suppose that these clothes worn by these ladies in Kabul was conventional Afghan clothes, and I do not need our heritage and tradition to be misrepresented,” stated Jalali, who lives in Glenwood, Maryland, about an hour’s drive from Washington.
Jalali, 56, created the social media hashtags #DoNotTouchMyClothes and #AfghanistanCulture, which shortly turned common, with ladies posting photographs of themselves carrying colourful, embroidered Afghan clothes and smiling for the digicam.
— Dr. Bahar Jalali (@RoxanaBahar1) September 12, 2021
“Afghan ladies do not put on hijab,” Jalali advised AFP.
“We put on a free chiffon headband that reveals the hair. And anyone who’s accustomed to Afghanistan historical past, tradition, is aware of that the clothes worn by these ladies have by no means been seen earlier than in Afghanistan,” she stated, referring to demonstrators on the pro-Taliban protest at a college lecture in Kabul earlier this month.
About 300 ladies — lined head-to-toe in all black in accordance with strict new costume insurance policies for girls in schooling beneath the Taliban — waved Taliban flags, as audio system railed in opposition to the West and expressed assist for the hardline Islamists.
“Afghan ladies do not costume that approach. Afghan ladies put on the colourful attire that we confirmed the world.”
Girls’s rights in Afghanistan had been sharply curtailed beneath the Taliban’s 1996-2001 stint in management, however since returning to energy final month, they’ve claimed they may implement a much less excessive rule.
Girls might be allowed to attend college, so long as courses are segregated by intercourse or a minimum of divided by a curtain, and girls should put on an abaya gown and niqab, which cowl the entire physique and face, save for a slit for the eyes.
Jalali moved to america when she was seven.
She remembers Afghanistan beneath secular rule, with some ladies carrying brief skirts and sleeveless attire on the streets of Kabul, whereas others selecting to put on headscarves.
In 2009, Jalali returned to Afghanistan to show historical past and gender research on the American College in Kabul, in what was the nation’s first gender research program.
After 8.5 years there, she returned to america and now teaches Center Jap historical past at Loyola College Maryland.
“My college students had been very keen about gender equality, female and male college students,” she recalled.
“So I actually cannot think about how this new technology of Afghanistan that has by no means witnessed Taliban rule, that has grown up in a free and open society, goes to have the ability to alter to this darkish interval that Afghanistan has now entered.”
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)