The State We're In, 11 September 2010. We speak with one woman who ran for political office in Kandahar and was targeted for assassination four times by the Taliban, a Norwegian filmmaker who embedded himself with the Taliban to put (he says) a human face on them and an Afghan poet who used a state occasion to insult President Karzai and his corrupt government.
Photo: Electoral poster showing parliamentary candidate Najla Dahqan. Over 430 women are running for office in Afghanistan's parliamentary elections, despite increased intimidation from pro-Taliban elements.
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Running for office
Zarghuna Kakar wanted to make life better for girls and women in Kandahar, so she ran for office. After she got elected, the Taliban shot her and her husband, who died. She survived three more attempts on her life before fleeing the city. She explains why she’s still in politics and still optimistic about her country’s future.
"Behind the masks"
Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal embedded himself with the Taliban as they carried out insurgency operations. He talks about how he wanted to counter received media images and put a human face on them. Jonathan asks him why.
Behind the veil
Fawzia Koofi is an elected official. She's a member of Afghanistan's parliament. She once had a promising medical career. But when the Taliban came to power, her dreams ended. She had to stay indoors and could only go outside wearing a burqua.
Biting the hand
Kamran Mir Hazar was a rising star in Afghan literature until President Karzai invited him to a special cultural gala. Kamran insulted Karzai and his cabinet by reciting a critical poem and later had to flee the country. Jonathan spoke with Kamran at the Rotterdam Poetry Festival where he says it was still worth it.
Commentary: waking up in Kabul
Leena Aria wakes up each morning wondering if she has enough money to bribe her way through the day. Like the time she needed a passport, just to get into hospital.
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