THE BLOG
01/16/2008 11:29 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

False Identity of East in West

Burqa, Chadari, or full covering is becoming the Afghan woman's identity to the West. Afghan women have been introduced through western media as a very vulnerable, poor, and illiterate entity, so that whoever in western countries sees them, expresses sympathy.

But does anyone know in the west that the Burqa, Chadari or full covering was not always Afghani culture? Does anyone in the west have any idea that Afghanistan had co-education? Does a person in the west assume that women in Afghanistan were so westernized before 1992?

It is also inaccurate that Afghan women have always been abused; they became a vulnerable entity and victim of war from the past fifteen years; however, would it be unfair to overlook the last 100 years of Afghan women's achievements and only summarize their introduction to the one decade of war? People in the west would be very surprised to see an Afghan women dressing in western clothes, however, I encourage those people to have a glance at videos about Afghanistan in a pre-war era to have a proper introduction of Afghan people, particularly Afghan women.

Today ,many non-governmental organizations use this to try to entice the sympathy of countries, organizations or donors in order to fund projects in Afghanistan, but however well-intentioned or inadvertent, these entities hurt Afghan women's identity in the world. Thus, these bodies project the notion of backwardness about Afghanistan in the international community.

Today in every clip in the western media, Afghan women have been pictured with a Burqa and tearful eyes. What would be the common interpretation of such pictures? Definitely a tortured, poor and helpless woman of Afghanistan whose rights have been violated and who has become the victim of tradition, war and religion.

Popular news agencies in the west often waste their time and sections of their paper on issues which have no value to be written about; those issues are so minor compared to other matters. For instance, the New York Times on 14th Jan published an article about wedding expenditures in Afghanistan. It focused on issues such as cultural values, pressures from bride's family, dowry, pre-wedding parties, traditional practices and unnecessary expenses. However wouldn't it be professional if the so-called popular New York Times devoted this section to issues such as the administration cost of foreign non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan, which are explicitly wasting money on their personal expenditures such as parties, immeasurable salaries, business class flights, daily per diem, luxuries hotels, and luxury car rentals, rather than attacking Afghan culture in an improper way. Publishing such news not only hurts Afghan culture and Afghan people, but also introduces Afghan women as money-making machines.

It would be much more professional and efficient if people in the west coul have a glance at other news agencies, to enhance their knowledge about countries in the Eastern World and obtain news that is not so manipulated.