In 2022, I spent eight weeks traveling around Afghanistan documenting women's rights abuses. During my trip, I photographed and interviewed women from all walks of life who have been left behind by the international community since the US withdrawal in August 2021.

Violence, discrimination, and neglect are some of the harsh realities Afghan women face on a daily basis. My work provides a rare glimpse into the personal stories of these women, who are not usually represented in mainstream media.

Here is a small glimpse of my work (interested in hosting an exhibition?). Please feel free to reach out if you would like to know more! (What I can share online is very limited).
On September 30th 2022, a terrorist blew himself up in an examination hall in Kabul. There, young girls were practicing for the university entrance exam. At least 35 of them were killed.
   Kaj terrorist attack        Fatemah (17) was in her...
Kaj terrorist attack

Fatemah (17) was in her final year of high school when the Taliban took control of Kabul. Despite Taliban's ban on girls attending high schools, Fatemah qualified for the university entrance exam that was held for the first time after the takeover in October 2022. She had been preparing for the exam at home for over a year. On September 30th, she went to Kaj centre where a drill for the exam was going to take place. She was so thrilled for this that she was the first student to enter the examination hall. 

‘’Soon after starting the exam, I heard gunshots. I could identify them because it was not the first time I had heard them. I tried to calm everyone and avoid screaming”. 

Unfortunately for Fatemah, her worst nightmare was about to become true. ‘’I saw a man entering the hall, I was  three meters away from him, he looked very angry, I could see the fire coming out of the gun. Immediately, I got down on the ground”.

Fatemah was the only survivor in her row.

“When I woke up, I saw so many dead bodies around me. I could only see with my right eye, I was all covered in blood. The gate was locked but I managed to leave the center by climbing over the fence. My clothes were all ripped because of the barbwire. I asked for help but nobody wanted to help me because they were scared. I had to go to the hospital on my own foot”.

Fatemah was derived from one hospital to another multiple times because they did not have the means to properly treat her wounds. “In one hospital they removed my left eye, and in another one, they removed shrapnel from my jaw. However, they could not remove all the shrapnel and I still feel pain”. 

Fatemah had to undergo another surgical procedure to get her eardrum reconstructed due to the bomb blast. ‘’I cannot sleep at night, my ears are whistling all the time’’.

Despite everything she went through, 3 weeks after the explosion, Fatemah attempted the real university exam. “My whole body was hurting and I could barely see. I knew how to answer the questions but I could not focus”. Fatemah got a score of 313 out of 360 points, one of the highest grades. 

Since then, she had been evacuated to Turkey where she will receive further treatment and fulfill her dream of studying computer science at university.

Omar Hamed Beato

I am Omar, a visual journalist from Spain who loves creating stories in written, photo, and video formats.
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