Strong women were my theme of 2019, and will remain so in 2020
Oh, how I am glad that 2019 is coming to an end. For a moment there, it felt like it would just go on forever, one really long never-ending struggle. Yea, 2019 was exceptionally trying year for me.
For the first time, I found myself in situations that required me give a mature response, to act like an adult and make wise decisions that may not feel good, but were the best options for the “long-term”, cause we are all about long-terms now. I am proud to say that there were times I surprised myself with how I faced and conquered some very challenging moments, but there were also other times when I just let myself go.
It was also the year when I realised how truly magnificent sisterhood can be, and also that women can disempower you just as well. And how important feminist allies are. I also realise what my real tribe is, and I am so lucky to have them and plan to hold them close, ya’ll know who you are ❤
But through all this, one thing that remained a solid constant was my work. I love my job! I am not a workaholic, but I truly do enjoy reporting and writing. It gives me the opportunity to meet some of the best people the universe has to offer, in some of the most difficult situations that the world has put them in, dealing with their issues with as much love and compassion as one heart can muster. It also brings me in close proximity of some of the most unkindest souls carrying so much hate and anger that it makes you wonder how much they must hurt inside. Every story I get to work on is a wondrous experience of the humanity around us.
And the best of this humanity, is female!
I am so proud that of the 87 stories I did this year, 17 were exclusively about women from this region and the amazing work they are doing. Of the remaining, 55 were news pieces, and more than half of these featured women voices and perspectives. The rest were stories of culture, food, children and animals, and nearly all of them, were presented at least one powerful female voice.
Below are some of my favourite stories of 2019:
- Inside Mother Camp: the woman tackling Afghanistan’s drug problem
Inside Mother Camp: the woman tackling Afghanistan's drug problem
Laila Haidari is considered a criminal, despite never committing a crime. The 40-year-old works with drug addicts in…
2. In Afghanistan, Replacing Shame With Understanding on the Topic of Menstruation
In Afghanistan, Making Menstruation Mentionable
A new program seeks to break the taboos surrounding menstruation, but in a region where religious orthodoxy lingers…
3. ‘He thought he’d ruin me’: Indian acid attack survivor and model speaks out
'He thought he'd ruin me': Indian acid attack survivor and model speaks out | Ruchi Kumar
When catwalk model Reshma Qureshi offers makeup tips, her online tutorials end with the message that an eyeliner or…
4. A Very Happy Viral Video With A Sad Back Story
Viral Video Shows Afghan Boy's Happy Dance With New Prosthetic Leg
It's hard to imagine a happier face. But it's a bittersweet story. A joyful video of a 5-year-old Afghan boy, Sayeed…
5. Cafe Culture in Kabul Shows How Afghanistan Is Transforming
Cafe Culture in Kabul Shows How Afghanistan Is Transforming
In a tea-drinking culture, coffee and cupcakes are signs of social change
6. Afghan minister for mines: As a woman I realise I have to work very hard
Afghan minister for mines: As a woman I realise I have to work very hard
After a full day overseeing policy reforms in the mining sector of one the most sensitive and dangerous regions of the…
7. The forest dwellers fighting to save Mumbai’s green lung from urbanisation
The forest dwellers fighting to save Mumbai's green lung from urbanisation
Asha Bhoye has lived her whole life among dense forest in the otherwise metropolitan city of Mumbai. As far as she…
8. In Afghanistan, Combating the Dubious Science of Virginity Testing
In Afghanistan, Confronting the Dubious Science of Virginity Testing
Doctors and activists are redoubling their efforts to curb a violent and still pervasive custom that violates women's…
9. In Afghanistan, Tattoos Are Markers of Autonomy
In Afghanistan, Tattoos Are Markers of Autonomy
Afghan women use them to combat their society’s contradictory views, even if the stakes are high
10. Dressing Afghanistan: young designers get creative in Kabul
Dressing Afghanistan: young designers get creative in Kabul
There's a steady stream of customers coming through the doors of Rahiba Rahimi's fashion studio. The 25-year-old's…
These are just some of the amazing stories I got to work on. To read them all, visit my website.