How to dress as a girl in Balochistan
BAGHDAD, Pakistan—When a young Pakistani girl asked me to give her a girl’s dress for a photo shoot, I had to agree.
The dress I wore, I was told, would make her look more feminine.
The photo shoot took place on a snowy morning in March, and the girl wore a green dress with a simple red ribbon.
“I have no idea what the dress will look like, but I’m excited,” she said.
The girl is an Afghan-Pakistani named Nabeel, who has recently become an international celebrity in Pakistan.
She has been dubbed “the girl of the future,” and she is making a name for herself as a fashion icon.
Nabeem, now 16, lives in a suburb of Karachi, a city that is home to more than 5 million people.
The Afghan girl has made headlines for her work and for her looks.
But Nabees life is anything but typical for an Afghan woman.
“In Afghanistan, a girl has two choices: either to go to school or to marry a man who is not good enough,” says Nabeela, who asked that I not use her first name.
“It’s not like it’s easy, but it’s better than living in poverty.”
Nabeeli’s father was a soldier, and his father is a former army commander.
He died of heart failure at the age of 45.
Her mother, a retired teacher, was also a soldier.
“When I was young, I wanted to go into politics,” Nabeelo says.
“But I was not interested in politics, and now I am a student and a mother of four.
My parents are not in politics.”
Nainal and Nabeeel are both in school.
Nainel works at a local coffee shop and is attending a school in a small town called Bara.
She is proud to be a Pakistani-Pakian and says she does not want to marry her Afghan friend, as Afghan women usually marry only men of their own culture.
“She is not a good person,” she says.
Naina, the Afghan girl, says she loves to dress up.
She says she doesn’t want to be forced to wear a traditional dress.
“We don’t like to wear clothes made of cloth and embroidered in the past,” Naina says.
She also says she prefers traditional dress to dress more conservatively.
Nibael, the Baloch, says her friends tell her to wear traditional dress because it makes her feel more comfortable.
Nadeel, Nabeele and Naines mother, Nainala, have two daughters, ages 9 and 11, and two sons.
They also own a small farm and live in a shanty town in Pakistan’s western province of Balochabad.
They are proud to live a life that they say is different from the norm.
Naji, a young woman who goes by the name of Nainisha, works at an Islamic school in the town of Zargabad.
She was not allowed to wear her traditional dress in class, but she has decided to wear it to the school every day.
“Even when I was a child, I thought that it was my duty to dress like a girl.
I was never proud of it,” Naji says.
Her parents were killed when the Taliban opened fire on a school bus, and Naji grew up thinking that her mother was a terrorist.
“There was no one who could help me.
The Taliban did not even tell us what to do,” Niba says.
In the town, Naji is one of the few girls who does not go to the mosque.
Naidael, as Nibaels mother Nainela is a popular name in Baluchistan.
Nandeel, a friend, says Naji has always been a tomboy.
“As a young girl, Naida was very independent,” she explains.
Nidael says Nandeela’s mother, who was a schoolteacher, was killed by the Taliban in 2003.
She claims that Naida is not proud of her father’s death and wishes that he had been a politician.
“My father was an honest person, who would give money to help the poor and give food to the poor,” Naida says.
But many Afghans believe that Nidaels father’s murder was revenge for his support of the Taliban during the countrys darkest days.
Nandes father was killed when a Taliban convoy attacked the main school bus carrying Nidaela’s school friends and their classmates in the northern town of Ghazni.
Nanya was a 10-year-old girl when Naidai was killed.
She remembers Naidais father saying to his friends, “I killed your father.”
Naida, a 14-year old girl, also recalls her father saying, “The Taliban killed your dad.”
“He was a man of honor, who didn’t give in to their demands