They Built Libraries to Honor Loved Ones, Women Felled by Bombings

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“I never want the Taliban ideology to govern my people again,” said Hamid Omer, Ms. Monji’s brother. “Where I was born, my village had to burn all the school textbooks available in our school. I am afraid we will face the same situation again.”

As a student, Ms. Hussaini was so determined to succeed that she walked an hour and a half each way to and from her high school while also teaching part time, said her sister Maryam.

She did extraordinarily well, an impressive accomplishment for a person from Afghanistan’s poorest province, Daikundi, in the central highlands — especially in a country where women and girls are marginalized by an education system often closed off to them by their families and Afghanistan’s patriarchal society.

They also face a constant threat from the Taliban, who in past years have burned down girls’ schools, threatened to kill female students and splashed acid in their faces.

After getting her bachelor’s degree in computer applications in India, Ms. Hussaini completed a master’s degree in Japan. She then quickly landed a prestigious job in the government’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, where she was commuting in a minibus with several of her colleagues the morning they were hit by the suicide bombing.

For years, Mr. Rezai said, he cried whenever he thought of Ms. Hussaini. “It took me three years to change the shape of my grief into a positive thing,” he said.



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