Kabul / In a country where women normally grab headlines as victims of violence, the image of a young mother sitting on the floor and cradling her child while taking a university entrance exam has stunned Afghanistan, with people deeply moved by the story behind the photo.
Jahantab Ahmadi reached Nili, the provincial capital of Daikundi province, two weeks ago after walking for two hours followed by a 10-hour bus journey to sit a university entrance exam, taking along her three-month old child.
“I was always thinking of university, but problems were stopping me,” she told EFE.
During the exam – held in the open – her baby started crying due to earache and Jahantab got up from the desk and sat on the floor to try and calm down the child, while continuing to answer questions with her other hand.
The powerful image was captured by a professor who was invigilating the exam, and later shared on social media, where it went viral within hours.
Jahantab is 25 and a mother of three who grew up in Ushto, a remote village in central Daikundi province in a very poor family, where she could finish the ninth grade in school – normally completed at the age of 14-15 – only at the age of 18.
After that she was married to an uneducated farmer and gave birth to her first child a year later.
In a country where early marriage is the biggest reason for girls dropping out of school, the fate of Jahantab seemed sealed, but she continued to study against all odds.
The young woman walked two hours to school every day and managed to finish her school education in 2013.
This month she finally seems to have overcome all the hurdles and is about to fulfill her dreams.
“I was not aware someone photographed me and I was scared when I learned that, but the pictures unlocked my luck, turned my dream into reality”, Jahantab told EFE, with her baby in her arms while telling the two other children to behave and not leave the room.
Her luck has changed, as she and her family were invited to Kabul by women’s rights activist Zahra Yagana, who saw the photos on the internet.
The Afghan Youth Association – a nonprofit based in United Kingdom – had collected around £11,000 (around $15,400) by Sunday to help her, and Afghanistan’s 2nd vice-president Sarwar Danish met her and promised to pay her house rent in Kabul for four years.
She was also helped by the president’s office to get admission to the economics department of a private university, also taking care of paying her fees for the four-year period.
“Jahantab is Afghanistan’s woman of the year for me”, Farkhunda Zahra Naderi, adviser to the Afghan President, wrote on Facebook, calling her a “role model” and adding that “brave women like Jahantab will eliminate violence from Afghanistan.”
Jahantab’s success became possible due to the unconditional support of her husband, unusual for a conservative society where families often force girls to stop studying after marriage.
“I support her in higher education because I don’t want my children to grow up illiterate like me,” her husband said. (April 3, 2018, EFE/Practica Español)
News related in video:
Lee la noticia y responde las preguntas. (Read and answer the questions)
de una mujer que tiene determinación por seguir estudiando.
de una mujer iletrada que quiere estudiar.
de una mujer que no cree que pueda seguir estudiando en Afganistán.
realizó unas pruebas de acceso a la universidad en su país de origen.
nunca tuvo la oportunidad de realizar las pruebas de acceso a la universidad.
no llegó a realizar las pruebas de acceso a la universidad.
ya que sorprendió por estar realizando el examen mientras cuidaba de su hijo pequeño.
solo para que obtuviera ayudas del Gobierno afgano.
por haber sido la primera mujer afgana que realiza unas pruebas de acceso a la universidad.
No se sabe.
Claro que sí.
recibirá ayuda para que pueda continuar estudiando.
no recibirá ayuda de ningún tipo de nadie.
aseveró que no necesita la ayuda de nadie para poder estudiar en la universidad.
No se sabe.