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Basira Daqiq

June 16, 2014


Hudson, NY


Recorded by

Arya Samuelson

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This interview with Basira Daqiq was recorded in Hudson, New York on June 16, 2014. Basira, age 16, was raised in Afghanistan and moved to Hudson in February of 2014 to attend the local Waldorf school. In this interview, we discuss Basira’s reflections on her native country, including the current political climate, religious intolerance, and women’s rights. Basira expresses her belief that conditions in Afghanistan were improving but there is a great need for more awareness-raising efforts. Basira also shares the story of a young Afghan woman whose oral history Basira documented as part of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project and whose story of relentless abuse has inspired Basira to work towards international social change. On a more personal note, Basira also shares her experiences of growing up as a girl in a country that treats women as inferior to men and of how, as one of six daughters, her own family responded to outside pressures to limit her and her sisters’ potential. In this interview, Basira also discusses her early impressions of the cultural and political differences between the United States and Afghanistan and describes her experience of adjustment. Throughout the interview, Basira expresses remarkable passion, maturity and optimism.

Interviewer Bio:
Arya Samuelson

Arya Samuelson lives in Brooklyn and currently works with homeless populations in Brownsville. She is passionate about women’s rights, especially sexual violence prevention, and hopes to eventually work with international grassroots initiatives dedicated to social justice. As a writer and singer, Arya is also very interested in the relationship between the arts and activism and intends to use oral history as both a narrative craft and a tool to effect sustainable, community-driven social change.

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This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.

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Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”

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