Photos of a young Afghan woman nursing her baby while taking an entrance exam for a university have gone viral on social media in the country and abroad, as users hailed the “unstoppable” mother’s determination to pursue her education. Jahantab Ahmadi, 25, was in the midst of a social science entrance exam for Kabul private university in Kabul when her baby started to cry. One of the monitors for the exam, Yahya Erfan, captured a photo of Taab after she left her desk to nurse the infant before continuing her exam. The students sitting nearby Ahmadi, he told BuzzFeed News, were not only unbothered by the situation, but “sympathetic” and supportive of the “amazing” mother.
Inspiring photo from social media: this mother is taking university entrance exam while taking care of her child, in Daikundi. Afghan women are unstoppable. pic.twitter.com/lus0eeuH48
— Shaharzad Akbar (@ShaharzadAkbar) March 19, 2018
— EKhtiarbig (@Eraziqq) March 20, 2018
For many, the photo was symbolic of hope for the improvement of women’s’ education in the country, where an estimated two-thirds of girls leave school by age 12 to 15. Afghanistan was recently ranked, along with Syria, as the worst country in the world for women by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo
Twenty years from now, that child will see this photo in a better Afghanistan (…where the wars, the suffering will become history, photos like these a reminder of the strength of those who stood firm in the face of it all) #fb https://t.co/wuJ0v5f2Or
— Mujib Mashal (@MujMash) March 19, 2018
Ahmadi, who wants to be a doctor someday, went on to pass her exam with flying colors, but Erfan said that the mother was still unsure whether she’d be able to afford to attend the university.Ahmadi’s rural village of Aushtoo is located high in the mountains where there are no “roads for cars,” and she would have to commute 10 hours to get to school even if she is able to afford afford the tuition. Fortunately, publicity from the photo has led to a GoFundMe drive by the Afghan Youth Association, which has promised to give Ahmadi any money raised so that she can pursue an education. After the first day, the GoFundMe effort raised more than $4,400 on her behalf.
For more on Ahmadi’s story, watch the video below.
VIDEO: A picture of Jahantab Ahmadi sparked an outpouring of admiration and offers of financial help for the 25-year-old mother of three pic.twitter.com/7uafdHdrp5
— AFP news agency (@AFP) March 26, 2018
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.