Recently, I wrote a blog entry about a young Afghan woman named Aisha. She first came into the spotlight when her disfigured face made the August 9th Time magazine cover. The Taliban cut her nose and ears off because she ran away from an abusive husband. Aisha’s in-laws also treated her like a slave and repeatedly beat her.
However, that didn’t matter to a local Taliban leader. Faced with no other options, she ran away. As a result, Aisha would become victimized again. She would have to live permanently with a disfigured face.
Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the story.
Aisha recently returned into the spotlight for a gala hosted by the Grossman Burn Foundation in Calabasas located in Los Angeles County. However, this time she showed off her temporary prosthetic nose.
In a picture from the gala, she is glowing with confidence. At the event, she received an award from Maria Shriver and Laura Bush. In a Washington Post column, Mrs. Bush states: “The visible scars of her disfigurement will heal with time, but moving beyond the emotional and psychological trauma of her torturous mutilation may be more difficult.”
This horrific incident happened not in a different time or decade, but last year. Treating women throughout the world with dignity and respect needs to become a priority. There is no justification for this behavior. However, it appears that the Taliban failed in destroying Aisha’s spirit. She’s now far stronger than ever and to me, more beautiful.
To see the before and after photos:
Jodi Bieber/ INSTITUTE for Time
Alan Goldstein/AFP/Getty Images