I sat down with Airokhsh Faiz Qaisary to discuss women’s education in Afghanistan, how women are changing the face of this formerly war-torn country, what life is really like on the ground in Afghanistan and misperceptions about the country. Airokhsh is an Afghan filmmaker, activist, public speaker, and Sahar Fellow. She is also a smart, savvy, force of nature who is very passionate about women’s education around the world, but particularly in her home country of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a country that often makes the news (in a negative way), but is steeped in misunderstandings and an incomplete narrative that does not fully show the complexity of what’s going on there, especially when it comes to women. In this fascinating interview, Airokhsh and I talk about her work, break down many of the misunderstandings about women in Afghanistan, talk about women’s future there, and how you can make a difference in women’s lives in places like this central Asian country.

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As the Sahar website said about Airokhsh: She understands personally the difficulties inherent in Sahar’s mission to educate girls in the nation, because not long ago, she was a girl fighting for her own right to be educated in Afghanistan. When Qaisary was in the fourth grade the Taliban took power in the country. Since girls were not allowed to be educated under their regime, Qaisary’s mother ran a secret school for children in the community. She was lucky to have parents who encouraged all of their children—their son and all seven of their daughters—to reach for their dreams, achieve their educations and never stop learning, regardless of their gender. For Qaisary, this support from her family has made all the difference, setting her on a path not only to complete her own education, but to commit her life to the education of other girls in Afghanistan.

Listen to the interview here.

Learn more about Sahar: http://sahareducation.org/

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