by Jeff Viray
The people of Afghanistan have seen numerous amounts of turmoil in modern times, from its first occupation of the Taliban in the late nineties to the war on terror in the early 2000s and back to the occupation of the Taliban in 2021.
During this point in time, there have been many Afghans who have left the country in search of safety and a better life, either as immigrants or refugees. In 2021 the Canadian government admitted almost thirty-thousand Afghan refugees into the country.
But with news coming out of Afghanistan stagnating one woman has made it her priority to speak about the injustices happening in her country.
Nasima Danishyar is an Afghan immigrant who came to Canada in 2017, but her story starts all during the first Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Nasima, who’s from the Badakshan area of Afghanistan was also the daughter of an Afghan diplomat, and during the invasion, she and her family left their home for Pakistan.
“Yes, our safety and my family’s safety was the main concern for us leaving our homes.”
She spent 12 years in Pakistan separated from her family, “from the age of 15 to 27 I didn’t even see my own mother,” but once reunited in Iran that’s when Danishyar started her journey to try and be a voice for her country.
She moved to Iran after being reunited with her family. There she became an Afganistan diplomat in Tehran, working at the Afganistan embassy for almost a decade. In Tehran, that’s where she discovered her passion to be a voice for those in Afghanistan, representing the country in meetings that determined its relationships
with other nations around the world.
Today she finds herself in Scarborough, Ontario working as a coordinator and support worker for Middle Eastern families. Her job has seen her interpret for new immigrants and refugees coming into Canada, she also provides community meetings in regard to the mental health of Middle Eastern families.
But not only that she has also found the time to arrange protests and gatherings to what she sees as the injustices happening in her country.
“I want to give a voice to those, who don’t have one at this time, especially since there hasn’t been much news to come out, it is important for others to not forget the problems happening in my country.”
For Danishyar, what is happening in her country is something that can’t be forgotten. She told me that the current Taliban government, which took over in 2021, has hindered the ability of women to pursue education, something she strives for. She told me that the current regime does not allow women to pursue their education further once they have completed middle school in the country and that for her is an injustice.
When asked why she wanted to start speaking on these injustices she told me “It’s in my blood,” also stating that for her it is important to always keep attention to the injustices happening to her people back home.
Danishyar has used her safety in Canada as a way to combat the injustices she sees here, “though we cannot fight in our country with weapons, I still want to fight in our own way here.”
It has almost been two whole years since the Taliban retook the country after the United States announced its departure from Afghanistan. And Danishyar doesn’t see herself stopping from bringing attention to these injustices.
Listen to her interview here on the “A Remarkable Person Podcast”.