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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Kabul Cards: there's life beyond Taliban

Shalvi Mangaokar, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, October 26, 2012
First Published: 13:24 IST(26/10/2012) | Last Updated: 16:32 IST(26/10/2012)

Afghanistan is usually associated with suicide bombers and large-scale violence. But in an attempt to showcase the multi-faceted civilian life largely ignored by the international media, three young women, Sahar Fetrat (16), Sadaf Fetrat (20) and Nargis Azaryun (19) carried hand-held cameras to document their daily life in Kabul and made a film, Kabul Cards, that was screened at the Mumbai Film festival.

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gWe want to explain to the world that Kabul, Afghanistan, is a very normal place to live in,h says Nargis. gAll the things written and said about Afghanistan in the international media are about explosions and the Taliban. Thatfs not the whole reality. Therefs a big civilian life over there and we feel that should be reflected too.h She adds, gWhenever wefve spoken to any foreigner about Afghanistan, they say, eOh, the terror place. The Taliban.f All documentaries usually made in and about Afghanistan focus only on one issue ? terrorism and women. But problems exist all over the world. Why canft they show the happier side of Afghanistan? A coin has two sides.h

From Left to Right: Sahar Fetrat (16), Sadaf Fetrat (20) and Nargis Azaryun (19)

Saher adds that Afghanis have a very active and normal daily life. gWith this film we want to show that there are people in Afghanistan who are fighting to reduce challenges and problems,h she says. gStreet harassment of women is a big issue in Kabul, but there are organisations helping us.h

Says Sadaf, gItfs not bad living there. The international media is horrible about Afghanistan. People study there, there are universities and I donft think wefve missed out on anything. Therefs a rich culture back home.h

It wasnft as difficult as you might believe for three young women in Kabul to make a film and then travel abroad to promote it.

gOur parents arenft educated, but they understand us and our initiative,h says Sadaf. gTheyfre glad wefre doing this.h Nargis adds, gMy father is a doctor and my mother is a working woman. They encouraged me to pursue this dream.h

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