Press "Enter" to skip to content

Afghan mom cradling baby during college exam goes viral – World

KABUL – Afghan farmer Jahantab Ahmadi sits on the floor, his baby resting on his lap, while She concentrates at the university entrance exam that she hopes will help her fulfill her dreams.

The powerful photo, taken by a professor at the Nasir Khusraw private university in central Afghanistan, has gone viral after touching a nerve in a country where most women are illiterate and treated as second-class citizens.

The image has sparked a wave of admiration and offers of financial help for the mother of three 25-year-old sons.

"I do not want to be deprived of my studies," he told AFP in Kabul Ahmadi, who comes from a remote agricultural village in Daikundi province, where wheat, corn and potatoes provide little income.

"I want to work outside the house, I want to be a doctor, someone who serves women in my community or in society"

Ahmadi passed the exam after embarking on an arduous journey to reach the capital of the province, Nili: two hours on foot through mountains and nine hours on public transport on a bumpy road.

An online GoFundMe campaign launched by the Afghan Youth Association to help pay their college fees has so far raised more than $ 14,000, a fortune in a country where approximately 39 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Ahmadi seems a bit taken aback by the attention unleashed by his baby Khizran's picture during last month's exam, which he only found out later.

"My friends from the village told me 'they have photographed you' I said 'how I did not know they were photographing me and they told me' you were concentrating on the paper, 'he said, smiling shyly.

At the beginning of the test , which was performed in the open air, Ahmadi sat on a desk with Khizran in his lap.

But the baby had an earache and kept crying, to keep her quiet and not disturb others, Ahmadi sat on the ground in the shadow of someone else and continued to write.

"I had to concentrate on the baby and play the role," he said.

University a 'goal of life '

Ahmadi's story has resonated with users of social networks across the country, who have praised their determination to be educated.

"You are a true world champion, you have shown that a Hazara girl can do anything in any condition or circumstance, "Nazar Hussein Akbari wrote on Facebook, referring to his ethnicity.

Another user posted:" I hope this hard-working woman will achieve her goals. "

The rights activist of Afghan women Zahra Yagana was also impressed. She contacted Ahmadi and convinced her to go to Kabul to study.

The family stays with Yagana while helping Ahmadi enter a private university in the Afghan capital.

"If I had to study in Daikundi, it would be difficult for her," Yagana told AFP in her apartment.

"The level of education is low, there is no student hostel in Daikundi and she would have to live in a rented house.

" We will give her a house (in Kabul). There are many friends who have promised to help her. We try to find a job for her husband and we also raise money for her children to go to school. "

For Ahmadi, this would be the fulfillment of his dreams.

" The goal of my life was to enter the university, "said Ahmadi, who finished high school after getting married at the age of 18.

" But because of our poor economic situation and poverty, I could not afford to study for three or four years. "

The overall literacy rate in Afghanistan is one of the lowest in the world, only 36 percent, according to official figures, much lower for women.

" I do not want to be left behind, "he said – AFP

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *