Child Spotlight 2008: Mahbooba
Mahbooba, whose name means “loved one” in Farsi, came to Watan Orphanage when she was seven years old, and immediately melted the hearts not only of her friends but also of her entire school with her extraordinary talents and admirable conduct. Mahbooba is from Nooristan, a remote area by the Himalayan Mountains that, according to analysts is the most backward area in Afghanistan. The orphanage was entirely alien to Mahbooba. She could speak neither Farsi nor Pushto (the common languages in Afghanistan), had never even seen indoor plumbing, a car, let alone picked up a pencil. Her father had had a plan for her, the same plan most every young girl must submit to: be sold into marriage to an older and most likely abusive man. But when the opportunity came to send one of his daughters to AFCECO, something inside of him rose to the occasion: a deep respect for education.