Afghan Women Revealed

Category: Women
Last Updated: 25 May 2020
Pages: 4 Views: 97

In the year 2001 2002 the United States of America engaged in a political campaign for the war in Afghanistan. In her essay “To unveil the threat of terror”, Dana Cloud accuses the United States government to construct a hypocritical justification for the war in Afghanistan. The United States used the picture of veiled woman and children and presented them to the united citizens as oppressed and needing help. Dana Cloud argues that the real motif of the war was to obtain economical and geopolitical control of the territory of Afghanistan.

In this essay we will analyze one of the photographs that played a big important role in the Afghanistan war campaign of the United States. Our goal here will not be to discuss the real reason of the war but to determine if the pictures really represented Afghan women and children as oppressed and needing help. We will then try to determine if the united states where in fact able to help this women. Based on our conclusion we will propose a more parsimonious property of these images: a property that all photographs possess and that Morris calls an express train to error.

The afghan woman is a photograph of a young afghan girl taken by National Geographic photographs in a refugee camp in Afghanistan. The girl in the photograph is wearing a red torn burka and her piercing eyes are gazing at the viewer. Some say that she looks angry, others that she looks desperate and needs help. The truth is that we will never really know what she felt at that moment. But what we can be sure of in that picture is that if the United States had not gone to war in afghan we would not have been able to gaze at her photograph for the simple reason that in afghan culture, women are not allowed to show their faces.

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In an American perspective, the United States had helped this young afghan girl to be free and express her identity. Ironically although the picture promotes individuality and freedom, the picture also oppresses individuality and freedom as well. It possesses a dimension of individuated aggregate. They were no name in the photograph just “the afghan woman”. By naming the photograph the Afghan woman and publishing it in the United States Press, the photograph served as a representation of all the afghan women and thus ignored the specific individual represented in the photograph.

An American citizen ignorant of afghan culture and proud of his own culture and belief will automatically perceive the girl in the photograph as freed and experience what Dana Could referred to as paternalism: a need to protect her. Thus we find that Dana could argument that the United States spread an image of savior during the 2001-2002 war campaign. Did they really save this girl, or the other afghan woman? The eyes of the Afghan girl had captivated the world so much that the National Geographic photograph that had taken her photograph was sent to search for her.

Mc Curry says that he went first with his search team to the original place where the photograph was taken: the refugee camp of Nasir Bagh. A man who heard about the search told them he knew the girl in the picture. He claimed she was his childhood friend and that she had returned to Afghanistan near Tora Bora.. Mc curry was informed by the team that He told them that she was a childhood friend and that she went back to Afghanistan and in she had returned to Afghanistan years ago, he said, and now lived in the mountains near Tora Bora.

When McCurry got to the place and saw her walk I the room he told himself: this is her. Thus “the girl with the piercing green eyes” or “the afghan girl” was identified. Her name was Sharbat Gula, and she was Pashtun, one of the most violent tribe of Afghanistan. Mc Curry took a new photograph of her and her eyes were still burning with ferocity. Her eyes were still sea green, big haunted and haunting green eyes. In them you could read the tragedy of a land drained by war not the relief and freedom that the United States should have brought with them.

If the United States had helped this girl and the other women by going in war with the Taliban, this girl her eyes would have looked happier, less angry, or simply different. We would have noticed a change, but the only change we notice is the change of a girl into a woman. This change is not relevant to the United States going to war with afghan but to nature. When observing the afghan girl one should not make biased assumption. Although being unbiased is thorough, it is not impossible. While looking at the photo of the afghan girl a viewer should see all facets of the photograph or image being observed.

While the photograph of the afghan woman portrays the oppression that afghan women experience, it also expresses the tragedy and struggled experienced by women in war. As Ell Morris described in his…. Photographs and images are an express train to error and believing is seeing. When one observes the photographs of the afghan women, one sees what he wants to see: a women that need help from the united states,a women that is angry, a women that is ravaged by a war ,a woman that is ashamed to show her face,a woman that is revolted. hey are so many interpretation that can be drawn from the afghan woman,but none of them can really grasp the reality that the photographs bring. it is just as ell morris said. While photograph reveals important some things, they hide or misrepresent others. Thus the photograph of the afghan woman has one very parsimonious property. a property that all photographs share: to represent a blurry reality. However although the photograph is not a real representation of afghan woman, it remains true that they are oppressed and ravaged by the tragedy that is war.

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Afghan Women Revealed. (2017, Apr 04). Retrieved from

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