by Jasmine Davis
Today’s world is incredibly interconnected - just look at your social media profiles. Chances are, you have at least one “friend” who you haven’t met in real life. Earlier today, I made a connection I never thought possible: one of the “friends” I’ve never actually met posted this article about Peggy Kelsey, an amazing photographer who recently published the book, “Gathering Strength: Conversations with Afghan Women.”
Kelsey’s work documents the lives of women in Afghanistan through photographs and interviews. She points out in the article how different media images are from her personal recollection of her time spent in Afghanistan. Kelsey says, “As a photographer who had lived in the Middle East, with connections in Afghanistan, I saw that I could provide a more complete picture of their lives.” The article outlines just a few of the courageous, smart and interesting women in Afghanistan that Kelsey met with during her time there.
Of course, because the Internet is the Internet, one click led to another and before I knew it, I was reading an article published in October of last year that highlights Razia Jan’s work with schools in Afghanistan. She is a huge supporter of education for women in Afghanistan. She worked with locals to build the Zabuli Education Center, an Afghanistan school for girls. She started with just over 100 students, and at the time the article was written, had more than 300. According to the article, “[H]er girls must rise at 4 a.m. and do chores for their families before being brought to school. They work a full school day with comprehensive curriculum before returning home to do more housework. By lamplight in homes without electricity the girls end their evenings doing homework.”
I’m reminded of the Afghan Development Project by both of these amazing women. This initiative brings education for women in Afghanistan into the forefront. Connecting girls and women with the Internet and social media gives them opportunities that might not otherwise exist. The Afghan Development Project provides a technological education for women in Afghanistan, helping them develop skills for the 21st century.
Social media is a wonderful thing that everyone deserves to be able to access. Just think - I never would have found this fantastic photographer or amazing educator if it wasn’t for a “friend” I’ve never actually met on social media. I’m able to follow up with these women and reach out to them, even though we’ve never met. Social media can truly expand your world.