The Women of Kashmir Survive the Spoils of War

For years, I lived Kashmir. I dreamt of the women featured in this book. For awhile, they were like family. I knew intimate details of their lives. Even though I was their American guest, they gave me more than stories to be recorded in a book. They gave me a slice of modern history--the untold histories of women, the survivors of a 60-year-plus conflict. The women of this book form a community … [Read more...]

Human Rights Challenges for Women in Indian-Held Kashmir

Raising awareness on women in conflict is one small way to inform and invest in a community that is grappling with unspeakable and unthinkable acts of violence. For over a decade, I have interviewed Kashmiri men and women--some in the valley and others from afar--to understand their struggles and sacrifices. To the Kashmiri people, including famed writer Basharat Peer, the conflict has become … [Read more...]

Elections in Kashmir Set a Historic Precedent

In winter 2014, elections in Indian-held Kashmir should have been a benchmark for change. But the opposite occurred. The local government came to a standstill. And the Indian Army took control of the valley until the Governor stepped in. The French historian Alexis de Tocqueville said, "When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness." For decades, Kashmir looked as … [Read more...]

The Bomb Girl Who Got Away

I've read so many stories of failed female suicide bombers or women who actually detonated. In most cases, these women are just a statistic. Where is the human face to violence? I thought numerous times. I was tired of official reports which included numbers of casualties and sketchy details of the female bomber. I wanted to see her face, possibly her whole body (before it shattered to pieces) and … [Read more...]

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