Afghan Women’s Poems Inspire

>>Speaker 1: From the Library
of Congress in Washington, DC.>>Joan Weeks: Well good
afternoon ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of all my colleagues and
in particular Dr. Mary-Jane Deeb, Chief of the African and
Middle East Division, I’d like to extend a very
warm welcome to everyone. I’m Joan Weeks, head at the
Near East section sponsor of today’s program. In continuation of “The Persian Book
Lecture Series with its 2016 Focus on Literature and Performing Arts,
today’s program shines the spotlight on the Afghan Women’s
Writing Project with Poetry Readings
and Visual Arts. But before we get started
with today’s program and introduce our speaker, I’d
like to give you a brief overview for our division and its resources
in the hopes that you’ll come back and use the collections and
this reading for your research. This is a custodial division which
is comprised of three sections that build and serve the collections
to researchers around the world. We cover over 75 countries and
more than two dozen languages. The sub-Sahara Africa section
covers all the countries in sub-Sahara Africa. The Hebraic section
covers Hebraic world wide and then Near East
section covers all of the Arabic countries including
North Africa, the Arab countries at the Middle East, Turkey, Turkey
Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan and the Muslims of Western
China, Russia, the Balkans and the people of the Caucuses. So you see it encompasses
a very wide region. After the program, we would
like to invite you to fill in the evaluation forms that
you see on your seats today, that helps us design
and look forward to future programs
with your comments. We would also like to invite
you to ask questions at the end. But if you do, since
we’re being filmed today, you’re giving your permission by
asking those questions to be filmed. So now I would like to
call upon Hirad Dinavari, our Iranian World specialist
to introduce our speaker. Thank you.>>Hirad Dinavari: Thank you, Joan,
and thank you everyone for coming. I know it’s day after holiday and
people are just now getting familiar with summer and it’s in
the middle of the day. So I realized coming here, is a
can be a little bit about issue but I’m very glad to
have everyone here. I want to take a second and introduce our wonderful
speaker Ms. Mahnaz Rezaie. Mahnaz was born in
Western Afghanistan and she was raising a family
that valued education immensely as a child when the Taliban
invasion had started. She and her family fled not to
return for a number of years. Eventually, she did go back and
was able to get a scholarship to continue her education in
the United States in 2005. Ms. Rezaie is a writer for the
Afghan Women’s Writer’s Project, a website that she will be
showing you and featuring. And is now a mentor for the online
Dari or Dari Persian Workshops for women in Afghanistan who do
not speak or write in English. She is also a filmmaker who has
been honored at the recent women in the world summit in New
York for her short films and explores how wearing hijab
affected her relationships when she first came
to the United States. And currently, Ms. Rezaie
is in the Master’s program in the Corcoran School
of Arts and Design in George Washington
University in Washington, DC, and is working on a novel. She also has been accepted as
an intern to Washington Post. She will be a starting
an internship in June and she will be there
in the film department. At the end of this program, there
is very interesting book essentially “Washing the Dust from Our
Hearts” in both Persian– Dari Persian and English. And Ms. Rezaie would make
this book available for those of you who are interested. Without taking any more time, I’m
going to ask Mahnaz to come up here and give us her wonderful
presentation. [ Inaudible Remark ]>>Mahnaz Rezaie: Thank you for the
kind introduction Hirad and Joan. Hello and welcome everyone,
good afternoon. It’s my pleasure to be here
and thank you all for coming to hear the voice of
Afghan women today. First, I want to explain
a little bit about the Afghan Women’s
Writing Project. Afghan Women’s Writing
Project is an online program, it’s an online workshop. So I’m going to show
you the website. This is the website for Afghan
Women’s Writing Project. It started in 2009. Then a journalist, her
name is Masha Hamilton, the founder of Afghan
Women’s Writing Project. When she went to Afghanistan after
she saw a woman who got killed and shot to death in
[inaudible] in Kabul. She was wondering what was
the story behind this woman that she had eight children
and she was killed by Taliban. And she wanted to know the story
and she went to Afghanistan and she researched and
asked about this woman. But she didn’t find out
the story behind this woman and she felt there are many
stories that are being untold in Afghanistan especially
women, they don’t have a voice. So, she started this online project
with five students and she thought that she needs to help women
to voice their concerns, to write about their day-to-day
life, to write about their stories, their sadness, their happiness’s. So, the workshop started
with five students. And right now we have 445 students. They started with one
English workshops and right now we have
nine English workshops, two Dari workshop and
one Pashto workshop. In Afghanistan, we have two
official language, one is Pashto and the other one is Dari. So there are workshops
on the site also. Afghan Women’s Writing Project works
in five provinces in Balkh, Bamyan, Ghazni and Herat’s and in Kabul. And they also have
writers in Kandahar. And we have as I said,
445 writers enrolled. We had 111 mentors who are
journalist, who are teachers around United States and they
are all working voluntarily with Afghan Women’s Writing Project. The way the workshop works is that students are enrolled
in online workshops. They are like Google groups. And they send– The mentors, they
sent weekly prompts like write about mother, write about like
what is the value of life for you. They give– They send
weekly prompts to students, one or two weekly prompts, and
they ask the student if you don’t like this prompt, we can
write about other issues. And students usually writes
poems, they write short stories and they send all articles and
they send to these mentors. And the mentors work with them
to help them polish their work if there are mistakes,
they help them. So it is a learning
process for these women. They get help, Afghan Women’s
Writing Project give them a platform to write about their issues
and to learn another language. And if they want to write in their
own language, they can write in Dari or Pashto for people
who do not know English or they can’t write in English. And we also have another wonderful
amazing program that we reach out to women who are illiterate. So we have oral stories. We reach out to women
who want to tell stories and they don’t have–
They can’t write. And then we collect those
oral stories and we– they record their voices
and then we put them online. So this is another stage that we are
working to have them on the website. So, I’m going to start with one
of my poems that was published in the book “Washing the
Dust from Our Heart”. And this is a collection
of poems from our students that was published
in this anthology. And Afghan Women’s Writing Project
has published two anthology. This is the second one. The title of the poem is “When
We Were King and Queens”. When I think of my childhood,
I remember the old days, when I was a little girl, with
black braided hair like goat horns. In summer, my five siblings and
I would sit on a wooden bed, the huge bed my father made
in the middle of the yard. First, we threw little
rugs on the bed, then we fought to get
the best corner. The breeze was our playmate. She brushed our faces. Cooled our hearts, slapped
the mosquitoes and flies. Like a scented friend, it
carried the aroma of flowers and wheat from farther fields. Our house, in a vast meadow
with a few other houses, was a little flower in a bare
garden, but we didn’t feel alone. God was also our neighbor. We laughed on the wooden–
we laughed on the wooden bed, drank black tea, and
played with marbles as our white dog jumped
happily, circling the bed like as if it’s were a sacred shrine. I loved her small puppies rolling
on the dusty ground with them, swirling them around by their little
paws and bursting into laughter. They were like balls of
cotton and I kissed their paws and caressed them with love. Some neighbors said,
“Dogs are Najis, filthy.” But I treasured them. They played with us, they protected
our house, barking at strangers and enemies, their yelps
very small and screechy, but their will was strong. How could anyone call
them “unclean”? They were little angels. God wouldn’t create filthy things. Sometimes we didn’t have bread
in the house, I was hungry, so mother gave me a
piece of dried bread, and said “Share it with the dog. She is also hungry.” Her kindness reminds me of when
she cooked okra with Kichiri. We sat on the wooden bed
and we ate in the moonlight. We didn’t have electricity, but
our hearts were bright and happy. As we laughed, our teeth
shone like the stars. We named the stars to own them. My eyes like a basket. I picked them until they escaped
from my eyes and entered my heart. In my best childhood memories,
we were all together, me, my siblings, my mother, my father. We weren’t yet broken
by war or separated, each thrown to a corner
of the earth. With free minds and happy
hearts, we laughed together and adored simple things. On the wooden bed, we
were kings and queens. [ Applause ] Thank you very much. So, I want to explain a little
bit how did I get involved with this project. It was in– I came to United States
and got a scholarship in 2009. And then I received the Davis
Peace Project to go back to Afghanistan to do
a peace project. And in Afghanistan, I saw an email. I saw– I read a poem. It was a poem that was from
Afghan Woman’s Writing Project. One, it was so beautiful and
emotional that it made me cry. And I immediately wanted
to be part of this program. So I contacted the founder
and I told her that I want to be part of this program. And she said, “Yes, you’re welcome. Come and join us.” And then I got involved. So I started in 2010
with them as a writer. I started writing for them
and then after a few years, they started their Dari program
and they asked me to be the mentor for the Dari program for
students who are in Afghanistan and they do not speak
or write in English. And I started the Dari
Program, Dari workshop, and now we have a secondary
workshop and soon, we are going to have the third Dari
workshop which is a great honor. So today we have some other Afghans
Women’s Writing writers with us. Some of the students who
live in United States. Usually, the students
that we enroll, they all need to be
always in Afghanistan. They start in Afghanistan with
us or they can be refugees. But for women– Afghan women who are
here like we can’t work with them. For the refugees that
we’ve work for, you know, either in Iran or Pakistan. So some of the students who are in
United States, they first started with Afghan Women’s Writing
Project in Afghanistan. And today, we have one
of our great writers, Marzia that she will
be reading for us.>>Marzia: “War”. To buy his family’s safety, your father spends every Afghani
he has saved for the last 30 years. Your mother sells her
jewelry so she can feed you and your brothers and sisters. Your brother gives up his beloved
car, and you give up your education because you have no other option. Gunfire and rockets,
like the devil screaming, wake you up in the
middle of the night. The explosions vibrate
through your heart. Nothing can calm you, not
even your mother’s arms. You see torn bodies on the TV. Mothers like crying over
their sons’ corpses. Widows weep for their children. Who will feed them today? War means living in fear,
with families torn apart. Flowers lose their
color, become gray. Dark circles under your
eyes, your skin pale. You see everything in black and
white, cannot feel the sun’s warmth, the wind’s breeze, see how
bright the moon and the stars. Your best friend flees
to another place. You miss her, become
lonely, isolated. She was the one you shared your
secrets with and played with. You don’t feel safe without her,
not even in your own bedroom. War means poverty. People kill for food. Parents sell their children. Children sell opium. Girls marry old men. Teenagers take responsibilities
that are too big. They feel old, begin to be
cruel, see things they shouldn’t, do things they shouldn’t. You see women killed. Of course, they have
been raped first, because they are honored
by their enemies. And yes, you see yourself
used as a tool of war, and sold because no
one can protect you. War makes the warlord
thirstier and thirstier. He cares only about himself,
seeks to drink power, becomes blind, deaf, a liar. With no laws, no rules,
you make no goals anymore for your unknown future. You become cheap, worthless. War means nightmares for
you, your family, your world. Every single sound scares you. War tastes as terrible as it is. You have no appetite, not
even for your favorite meal. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Mahnaz Rezaie: Thank you, Marzia. So, we have another AWWP writer. She is my sister. I’m very happy that she
is here with us today. She recently graduated from Saint
Michael’s College in Vermont. And she moved here like a week ago. So please welcome her. [ Applause ]>>Rahela: Thank you, Mahnaz,
and thank you all for coming. So today, I’m going to share two
of my pieces that it got published in Afghan Woman Writing Project. The first piece is
a poem that I wrote. “Break the Rule”. I want to break the rule
and say I am in love. My people taught me not to love
someone because I am a woman, because I am a girl,
because of my gender, because of my culture,
because of my religion. No! God is not against love. He loves the one who is in love. I am in love. Yes! I am a girl and I am in love. Let me love the one who I want. Let me choose the one who I love. Let me experience what love is. Let me have something
that I want for myself. Men can fall in love
but women cannot. Why? We do not have a heart? We don’t have feelings. We do not have choice. We are not human. Love is pure. Love is holy. Love is valuable. It is not against the law. It is not against religion. It is not against culture. It is not against humanity. But if it is against the rule, I want to break this rule
and say “I am in love.” And I love that I am in love. Thank you. [ Applause ] My second piece is “Culture Shock”. And I wrote this in 2011. I didn’t know the meaning of
culture shock before I came to the United States, but now I do. As an international student coming from a religious conservative
country like Afghanistan to study in a liberal, democratic
country like the US, the move definitely shocked my
nerves and appetite for a while. When I first arrived, it
was the superficial matters that grabbed my attention,
like clothing, talking, hairstyle, and fashion. I was shocked the first time
I saw women wearing bikinis in the public near the beach. We have public bathhouse
for women in my country, but what embarrassed me was
seeing the women talking to men who were with them. The men had a live view of
99% of the woman’s naked body. I may have shocked them as
well, because I was walking on the beach fully
dressed with my scarf on. Afghans are always trying to avoid
the sun so they will not get tanned but some Americans love
to be out in the sun, even though they know
about skin cancer. Also, tattoos are common here, but seeing whole body
tattoo was shocking. What if the design
gets boring next year? Or what if a man’s
wife does not like it? Pets, especially dogs, are dear
in this country, sometimes dearer and closer than family members. I did not know how hard it was
to take care of them, bathe them, and feed them or even
play with them! Yes, in the United States, they even
have vaccinations for their pets. We just started the vaccination
process for children in our country and almost half of the population
has never ever had a vaccine in their lives. It is still shocking for me to know that in some countries animals
are as valuable as humans. Also, I still cannot eat
rice properly with a fork. It’s frustrating seeing
the grains escape from the prongs when I am hungry. It is interesting how forks
and knives are important in most of the meals in the US. In Afghanistan, I only use a knife
for peeling and cutting fruits. I think that it is polite
when Americans say “Excuse me” after yawning or sneezing, but
what about blowing the nose? That was the most funny and disgusting culture
shock I experienced. In my culture, it is impolite to
blow your nose in front of others. However, sometimes it made me laugh
and reminded me of the jokes I heard from my friends when I was child. Americans like books
and enjoy reading books, magazines, and newspapers. We can find people reading
during the day, at night, or like on the bus or in
the hospital waiting room. But it was shocking for me to
learn that we can even find books and magazines in American bathrooms. Sometimes being in different culture
helps one learn about the values and deficiencies of our own culture. People teach us about
their own lifestyles and we teach them the
way we like to live. No one has to follow the
others, but the point is to appreciate human beings’
existence and our uniqueness. Thank you. [ Applause ] So in two years ago I got
admitted to Corcoran School of Arts and Design at the New Media
Photojournalism Program. And after a year, I spoke with
my program director and told her that I want to find a way. I want to make a collaboration
between Corcoran School of Arts and Design with the Afghan
Women’s Writing Project. And since we have photography
department at the Corcoran School and even in my program we do a
lot photography and video making. I said, “Why don’t we
choose an Afghan woman poem and respond to it via art?” Because it will be a collaboration between American students
and Afghan women. And my supervisor,
she loved the idea and we started the
Blue Wings project. The Blue Wings project
is a collaboration between the Afghan
Women’s Writing Project and Corcoran School
of Arts and Design. And we invite all different artists
to respond to an Afghan women’s poem to arts whether it is
photography, short video, animation, any form of art. And last March 8th, we
had a very big event that we celebrated all the
artistic pieces that were done on Afghan Women’s Writing
Project and Afghan woman’s poems. And today, I’m going to show
you some of those pieces. So some of the students choose
to do photography and I’m going to read the poem that’s one of the students get this
photograph based on. The poem is by Roya and the title of
the poem is “Remembering Fifteen”. And I feel so young. Pains start growing inside of me. I begin to hear, “you have
to”, “have to”, “have to”. I have to live that “have to”. I have to buy a “burqa” and
hide the world under it. I have to forget the sun. To talk about the moon is a risk. I have to wear clothes
people choose. The colors they dictate. I have to live with
negative imperatives. Don’t laugh! Don’t speak loudly! Don’t look at men! Shut up! I am hearing– I am bored
of hearing, “Don’t, Don’t, Don’t”. I am fifteen and the boy I can’t
forget waits on the street to see me with my burqa on the
way to Lala’s bakery. And gives me postcards of
birds flying in a sky filled with freedom, he knows my smell. Love is blind for him. He lives with the smell of a woman. And Mama always says, be like
other people, be like other people. I wonder if I agree. I have to learn how to bear
the pain of being human, the pain of being a woman, the pain if Dad discovers the postcards
hidden between the bricks of the wall, the pain if the neighbor’s naughty son steals
the postcards, the pain if Dad says, never ever go to the bakery, the pain if the rain
washes the mud off the wall where the letters are hidden. The rain does wash the mud away
along with his words on the letter, “I love you and I love
your blue burqa.” But the rain can’t wash
his love from my heart. The rain can’t wash
the pain from my heart. Still I keep my blue burqa
in the museum of memos. Still I paint the birds
with blue wings. And Mama still says, be like other
people, be like other people, and Mama still says,
“Be like other people”. And mama– [ Applause ] So here are some of the photographs
and videos that I’m going to show. They are being done
on different poems. [ Music ]>>[Singing] I am one of those
women, with a wild imagination. I imagine being free of the
harsh claws griping my thoughts. Making me feel helpless
and clueless. I envision expressing myself
as free as a noble man. And I do not mean curses
and insults. I mean free to speak
up and make decisions. I appear for respect and love.>>So, these are some of the things
that have been done on women’s poems and we have many more– some of our
students with some types someday at screen printing and we are
going to work with the music and also [inaudible] department
for next year and we are going to have the same like event
reading and arts event for next year and to show a lot and right now
I’m going to ask another writer. She actually writes poems in Dari. She’s not a WWP member but she was
very kind to come today and read one of the poems from another student. Please welcome [inaudible]. [ Applause ]>>Khatera: Welcome to everyone, “Big Land” by Shirya
[assumed spelling]. I’m lost in a big land
of guns and bloodshed. No one is with me. I’m alone. Alone in the darkness. I’m watching, playing, singing
my base song in darkness. I don’t know anything about
myself, where I am, who I am. There is no one to share with me
but I will rise in the darkness sky of Afghanistan to bring
back the shining sun. I want to change the
darkness to light. Get [inaudible] my people,
they got to be together. So no one feels alone of– if
only each of us watch and see, we are together in this land. We don’t– our people bleeding. We don’t want more killing. Instead of fighting,
we should be welcome. [ Applause ]>>Thank you [inaudible]. So, I’m going to read
another poem of mine, that I wrote about, my father. My father, conqueror of my heart,
when I say my father is a hero. It’s not a slogan. It’s not praise. It’s a fact. Here is the tools behind an Afghan
man but let me now tell you. Let me show you. The sun was scorching
when my father worked in a 20-floor building
that scared us all. Attached to a string, my father
found bread from his blood to feed his six children
with a thrust of his heart. My father’s hands are
touch as leather. The most beautiful sacred hands,
precious leather that fought of us of disappointment and brutality
of pains and hammer blows. In the mist of hard
days of immigration, my father raised our spirit. He said, educate yourself
and thrive. He fixed the school’s chairs and
desk, mended their broken hearts and legs in exchange
for our education. Like the carpenter Noah, he saved us
as I sat on the bench in the class. I caressed the desk and said,
we are in this together friend and I studied hard to bloom
more of my father’s hopes. My aunts and other talked absurd. They didn’t believe
in a girl’s education. There’s words like swords
stabbed me in my heart and throat. Scared of people’s talk, my
brothers didn’t want me to work but my dad’s upheld my rights
and broke the tortured silence. He said, “Nobody should
force my daughter to do anything she doesn’t like.” Then he drove me to
work on his motorbike. Proud of carrying his
daughter, a teacher, letting the wind blow
the bitter looks. In the center of Herat, my father
and I have a favorite spot. Where we talked and
laughed and eat chichirya. Like a true hero who
values others happiness is, my father sacrificed
his youth for us. His every white hair
hard turned off diamonds, every sentence a fountain of wisdom. My father is a hero who lifts
up a world of struggles, giving meaning to other’s lives. [ Applause ] And I’m very happy and
honored to have my father and mother today with me also. [ Applause ] They recently came for my sister’s
graduation and my graduation. So, these were all the poems
that I chose for today to narrate for you all and I hope
you enjoyed it. If you have any questions … [ Inaudible Remark ] Sure. So, the book
is both in Persian and in Dari and also in English. So, I’m going to read
some of the translation that were done based
on some of the poems. [ Foreign Language ] [ Applause ] And I’m going to read the
English version for you guys. Honeymoon in the graveyard. I am knitting loomings
into my dress, sewing sparrows in its sleeves. I draw a scarf, a smoke on my scarf. The evening news reports that Anisa, who escaped from her
house was stoned. She loved Hakim, wished
to marry him. He was stoned with her. My little boy cries, I am hungry. Run to the kitchen, cook my heart. When I washed the dishes
scrubbing each plate and glass, I wish I could clean the
destiny of the unlucky couple. I comb my son’s hair. My hands touched strands
of hope on his young head. I pray for the light. I grabbed my notebook,
write that I am tired of seeing tears in women’s eyes. Tired of hearing their sad
voices helpless, worried. Anisa and Hakim are stoned. I am tired of writing poems
that smelled like sorrow. [ Applause ] Another poem I would like to read
is by Secara [assumed spelling]. I Apologize. I apologize not because I am a
big person or because I am shy or powerless or immature or poor. I apologize not because it
makes me less than I am. I apologize because I am strong,
because I believe in humanity and because I have self-confidence
and because I am sick of sin. I apologize because my
life is full of dreams and because I want to
see everyone happy. I apologize because apology
is a way of ending hostility and because my heart is full
of love and because I want to make the world a peaceful place, a place full of love
and forgiveness. [ Applause ] Do we have more time to read more? How to Heal the World by
Freiba [assumed spelling]. This is the beginning of May
for love and forgiveness. The end of the way is not clear
to me because in this moment, love and forgiveness
are lovable to me. I’m on to write about
you here in this plan. About your eyes, their spring song. About your tender words, their
smile of simplicity and honesty. When you’re not with me, I
say, Allah Hafiz to everyone. Without you my beloved, I’m silent
without laughter or the speech. Come to me, open your eyes. The windows to my darkness. My soul to youth. Return home. Return again. Share the beat of my heart
with all the worse people who are failed in love. Please come with me. Love and forgive each other. Our lives too short, men grace for
the love and forgiveness too long when full of stress and hatred. That’s it. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Let me– if you would like to
ask any questions please feel free to get up and ask. I also want to put in a comment and
say that the folks of University of Maryland Persian Studies,
they wanted to be here, unfortunately school is out
and they’re all in vacation. So, they asked me to extend their
apologies that they’re not here. However, this is a fantastic program
and translating poems are not easy and you really see when you
read the original and hear it and then you see the English,
it really is a task to be able to convey them but they have done
such a beautiful job translating. So, I’m really, really
pleased to hear this and if you have any
questions feel free to ask.>>Mahnaz Rezaie: Yes? [ Inaudible Remark ] So, he’s asking if the writing– Afghan Women’s Writing
Project exist in Afghanistan. The writing, Afghan Women’s
Writing Project is an online project but we do have office in Afghanistan
and we have monthly workshops that women come to the office and
they have Dari or English workshops. And also, it’s a very secure space
for women who do not want to go to like cafe nets that there are
men there or they’ll get harassed. So it’s a very safe and calm place
to come and write their pieces if they want and use the internet
and send their pieces online. Yes? [ Inaudible Remark ]>>Mahnaz Rezaie: Thank
you for having us.>>I wanted to ask you if those
who participate in these programs in terms of demographics. Do they belong to a
certain age group? Are they more in some
region that others? Do they have a particular profile
if you want as they’re writing or is it attract the board,
attract eligibly and you know, how you describe the
women who participate in your project, the
455 participants?>>Mahnaz Rezaie: So
demographically for these women. Demographics for these women, so
you ask what are the demographic for women and what are the
age groups for these women for the participants of
these online workshops? The women who participate
are different age groups. We have teenagers. We have women who are married
and in their older ages. The oral stories, there are
grandmothers who they’re like voice or somebody, they tell somebody. They record their voice and
then other reader writes those and then we have somebody
to narrate those. So, we have different
age groups and we work in six provinces in Afghanistan. I would believe that
most of our writers are from the big cities
like Kabul and Herat. But we have writers from Kandahar. Kandahar is more conservative
and it’s a [inaudible] city so, we would see less women participate
because of the security reason and the conservative
culture of their city. So, the way that women reach out
to each other through this group, the way that it works is
that we don’t announce like, we accept students come here. So, it’s word of mouth
between the students. A student knows like she’s part of– she’s participant and
she tells a friend and that friend become
part of the workshop. So, because of the security reason, we always want somebody confirm the
participation of another student and there, and we have
students who do not– we do not publish their name. They just write in their
pen name or anonymously because of their security reasons. Some of their parents do
not want them to write or their brothers or uncles. So, we respect their situation. Yes?>>Going along with that. I was wondering where your website
is posted and if you’ve got some fax on the website, on the project
or it’s another security reason for this [inaudible]
you’re saying that writing under a student from other issues–>>Mahnaz Rezaie: The website is–
the IT personnel and everybody. The main staff are here in United
States and that’s one of the reason that we want to have the editor,
some of the main staff to have in United States in case
something goes wrong in Afghanistan because of the security situation. But our main way of like
connecting with the students is through internet and usually
most of the students have a phone that they can connect to
internet and write or something or send something and we do
provide them with small computers and like laptops and
also internet stick that they can stay
home and use them. I hope I answered your question. Yeah. But they are very– they
think a lot about their security of these women on how to run
the organization in a way that they keep the women safe. Yeah. Any other question?>>Hirad Dinavari: OK. I want to thank Mahnaz and [inaudible] there,
your lovely sister. Mr and Mrs. Rezaie again,
thank you very much. [Inaudible] and also
from [inaudible] and the other speakers as well. Thank you very much
for all of you coming. This was fantastic and I
hope to see this expand. This was very nice. Thank you very much for making
time especially on I know, on a hot summery day like this. Thank you.>>Mahnaz Rezaie: Thank you
very much for having us here. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the library of congress. Visit us at

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