Small Wars Journal

A Shotgun Under Her Bed, This Afghan Maverick Wants No Peace With Taliban

A Shotgun Under Her Bed, This Afghan Maverick Wants No Peace With Taliban by Rod Nordland – New York Times

… Nearly everyone addresses Ms. Haidari, 39, as “Nana,” or “Mom,” and her supporters describe her as the “mother of a thousand children,” after the number of Afghan addicts she has reportedly saved.

Now, Ms. Haidari plans to start a popular uprising against the continuing peace talks with the Taliban.

 

“Guys, the Taliban are coming back,” she said one day recently to a mixed group of diners at her restaurant, Taj Begum, which has been subjected to virulent attacks in the local media that have all but compared it to a brothel.

 

“We have to organize,” she told her customers. “I hope to find 50 other women who will stand up and say, ‘We don’t want peace.’ If the Taliban comes back, you will not have a friend like me, and there will be no restaurant like Taj Begum.”

Her nearly always crowded restaurant, on the banks of the sewage-drenched Kabul River, is named after a 15th-century warrior princess from Herat, who helped rule a vast kingdom, a rare example of female power from that time.

Ms. Haidari is as unusual in her own 21st-century age.

While most women’s activists in Afghanistan have been Western-financed and supported, she has insisted on organizing her political activity herself, and on her own terms…

Read on.