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This article was originally published in The Washington Post on April 18, 2013. You can access the original article here: www.washingtonpost.com/local/afghan-escapes-taliban-oppression-but-she-fears-for-the-others-still-there/2013/04/18/4be0b91c-a60a-11e2-8302-3c7e0ea97057_story.html.

As an ambitious young woman in rural southern Afghanistan, Fouzia Durrani was headed for trouble. The region’s religious and tribal customs required her to stay home, marry a man chosen by her elders and spend her life as his cloistered servant.

But the 20-year-old student loved teaching young girls to read and write, and she rejected the man to whom she had been promised at age 3. Growing up as a doctor’s daughter in a postwar democracy, where education and rights for women were championed by the government and its Western backers, she believed she could strive for success and assert her independence.

She was wrong, and punishment came swiftly. Read the full story.

Photo credit: Nikki Khan, The Washington Post