“Every day my children can go to school, I laugh, because my heart is full of joy,” with SAR scholar Zahra Hakimi
In Herat, Afghanistan, Zahra Hakimi was a faculty member, midwife, family planning trainer, and women’s reproductive healthcare provider. She often worked in secret and at personal risk to provide treatment to survivors of sexual assault. Within a week of taking control of her city, the Taliban raided Hakimi’s home. They condemned her work as “anti-Islam.” They threatened her and her husband, and demanded her teenage daughter for a forced marriage. She had no choice: She had to flee. On Free to Think Hakimi shares her incredible journey, including several attempts to escape Afghanistan, first through Iran, then the United States, and ultimately Canada. With SAR’s help, she is now a visiting researcher at the Centre for Research on Health and Nursing at the University of Ottawa. Since December 2022, the Taliban has banned higher education for women in Afghanistan. Now in Canada, however, Hakimi’s daughter hopes to become a dentist. “Every day that my children can go to school” Hakimi says, “my heart is full of joy."