Born and raised outside Afghanistan, Farzana Nawabi recognized Afghanistan from her father’s memories, which described the difficulties of living especially for women in Afghanistan. As a young actress, she thought that living in such a place, she might not be able to walk outside her house, let alone working. In 2011, when she returned to Afghanistan, it was a much better place than what she had imagined. “Seeing Afghanistan by myself, I found it very different from what I had learned from my father’s memoir and televisions. Girls could go to school, women dressed however they desired, and they had the right to employment, which I enjoyed,” said Ms. Nawabi.
She said that she has been interested to become an actress since she was a child and now, she has finally achieved it. She is currently a singer and an actress. She is planning to continue her education in the field of arts. Ms. Farzanah says that her profession is valuable and useful for the development of the country, and she wants to serve the people as much as possible through her profession. “I would like to promote the intellectual development of thousands of girls who have buried their dreams in their hearts because of war and poverty” she said.
Although she has achieved her dream and is working in her favorite field, she believes that cinema and the presence of women is not yet completely acceptable to the society. She said that women who work in the cinema often face threats from people.
“I was standing on a corner of the main streets of the capital and I was about to cross the road when suddenly a car with several passengers stopped and one of them said in a harsh tone, “are you the one who works on television?” Without answering, I wanted to continue on my way, when suddenly the person got out of the car and ran to attack me. I ran away and took refuge in the direction of a hospital, but I could still hear his voice. He cursed loudly as people watched him. Imagine what would have happened if I could not escape.” Additionally, she mentioned insecurity as one of the reasons that women cannot work with peace of mind.
Ms. Nawabi cites the poor performance of government cultural officials and the private sector in terms of material and spiritual benefits as another problem for female actors.
However, according to Miss Farzaneh, women have made significant progress in cinema more than before. She adds that many girls have been educated in this field and have won numerous awards.
Ms. Nawabi, like all other citizens, has concerns and demands regarding the peace process in Afghanistan and said that culture and art, because of their importance to society, should be discussed as one of the important topics in peace talks. She believes that if culture is not strengthened, socialization will be difficult to achieve.
According to her, if real peace is established, cinema will work in the true sense of the word, taking into account the culture of the country, in which case, women’s participation in artistic activities will be tangible. Otherwise, an unstable peace will be imposed on all citizens, in which case not only women but also men will not be able to work in the field of arts. “Women no longer want to fall victim to misogynistic traditions and be treated as the second sex,” she said.