| Apr 1, 2016
Here is the story of Jahangir, a young woman who has been helped by Aware Girls.
Jahangir is a university graduate from Jamrud. Despite studying International Relations, while at university she and her friends did not engage in discussions about religion and held conservative views about women’s rights. Jahangir had heard about Gulalai Ismail of Aware Girls from her friends. However, their view of Gulalai was coloured by their misunderstanding of her mission; they believed her to preach negatively about Islam, while openly flouting Islamic beliefs.
Jahangir decided to join an Aware Girls training programme to form her own view about their work. She was amazed to see that Gulalai’s sessions were not for anti-Islamic preaching, but for advocating peace, human rights and respect for all religions. By the end of the course, Jahangir was so changed that she became an Aware Girls volunteer, countering extremism in her community.
Putting her training into practice, Jahangir is now dedicated to promoting women’s rights. She took her mother to cast her very first vote and is ensuring that her sisters are properly educated. Jahangir has now created an online page to promote peace by reaching other youth with her messages.
“Previously, I never liked to interact with the people of other religions, but now I respect them and I have many friends from different faiths. I consider every human being to be equal in every way.”
Jahangir shared her experience with her university friends who were negative about Gulalai and Aware Girls. Now they are also staunch supporters of the cause. Among them is Muhammad; Jahangir’s message encouraged him to question what he was being taught in his madrassa. One day he asked the teacher a question to which he did not have an answer. This helped Muhummad understand and support Jahangir instead of criticising her. He started a polio awareness campaign, which are opposed by the Taliban, and has ensured education, employment and equal rights within the home for women in his family.
Aware Girls are able to reach young people, showing them an alternative to extremism. Their training courses enable these young people to spread the message of peace and so turn many more young minds away from extremism and showing that war is not inevitable. By supporting our campaign, you can help. Thank you.