‘She could have done so much good in this world’: victims of the Kabul blast remembered

Relatives and friends of young women killed by a suicide bomber at an education centre in Afghanistan last week write about their loved ones


A note written by Waheda, 18, who was killed in the attack, next to her portrait at her home in Kabul. In it she says: ‘I will shape my future as I want.’ She wrote that she should become a doctor in 2029, work in a hospital by 2030 and become a professional painter in 2031.’ Photograph: Ebrahim Noroozi/AP


Last week, a suicide bomber killed at least 53 people – mostly girls from the minority Hazara ethnic group – outside an education centre in Kabul. Here, relatives and friends of four young women who died remember their loved ones.


Omulbanin Asghari, 17 My sister had many dreams and would have made our country proud. My family and I are immensely proud of her for standing up as a woman who fought through many struggles as a young Hazara girl, from taking private classes when education was banned to preparing for university. She was taken away from us in the most brutal manner possible. We are broken, but determined to support her friends who survived this cowardly attack to achieve their dreams. As an educator, I will do everything I can to help them.

She was the baby of our family, the youngest of five, the kindest and most intelligent. She never lacked hope, she was always positive and determined. Her biggest life goal was to study political economy at Harvard University. She had planned for that in advance – improving her command of the English language and preparing for the Toefl test [Test of English as a Foreign Language for those applying to English-speaking universities]. In recent months, she studied day and night for the Konkor exams [Afghanistan’s university entrance test].

Over the years, she began watching a lot of motivational videos online and strengthened her will to succeed by reading books about revolutionaries such as Che Guevara and global leaders like Nelson Mandela. An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, she read everything from books on economy to psychology. One thing few people knew about her is she was a foodie. Potato chips and Kabuli palaw (traditional Afghan pilaf) were her favourite dishes, and she loved barbecue.

She wished to leave a po