Afghanistan: Sayed Naqi

Despite the challenges I have faced throughout my life and in my education career, I remained steadfast so that young girls would look at me and overcome their unfortunate conditions.

— Sayed Naqi

Bibi Naqi was born in 1928 in Kabul, Afghanistan and has a BA in Literature. Having worked as a teacher, headmistress and principal in many schools in Kabul since the 1950s, she has a long experience in education. Now she is retired. As a tribute to her efforts, Bibi Naqi was promoted by His Majesty crown prince Ahmad Shah, the elder son of former King Mohammad Zahir, to head of education in Kabul. Thanks to her, many orphan girls and boys were able to attend schools with her encouragement and subsistence. She has received several medals and certificates of honor.

When Bibi Naqi went to school in Afghanistan in the 1950s, girls’ education and going to school was a sinful act. However, Bibi Naqi completed her early schooling, on condition that she wore a veil. Her father could not afford to pay for her education. She had to work in the afternoon to support herself. Despite all these challenges, she studied and obtained a BA degree in Literature. At every step, she was encouraged by her parents and relatives to continue. Bibi Naqi is working hard towards a peaceful future by building up a society void of violence and discrimination. She believes that Afghanistan is on the path to democracy and is heading towards a hopeful future, although there is still a long way to go. She has faced many challenges in her life, the toughest of which is discrimination against women’s education and work.