Nina, 19, stares into the mirror while holding her boxing gloves up to her face at her university room in Bangladesh.
She is learning how to defend herself. She claims there is no other option. Nina is one of hundreds of Afghan women who have accepted the offer of a foreign education despite the fact that they may never be able to return home.
She claims she felt much weaker traveling through Kabul airport about a year ago. She recalls her hands trembling. She was well aware that fleeing Afghanistan was risky.
When airport security questioned her, she lied, saying, “The Taliban don’t allow women to travel alone, so I said my mother was sick in Pakistan.”
She was glad when they agreed, but the real test was still to come.
Nina went onboard the plane, away from her home and family. “I was crying on the day I left, thinking I might never see my mother’s face again,” she adds.
“It broke the heart of my younger sister.” It aches to think of them.”