Hassina Syed, business woman, with her two daughters Sana (age 3)and Hirah(2), photographed at her home and business the Gandamack Lodge Hotel. She also rents armoured cars, runs a farming business, a travel agency and a bedding shop. She is married to Peter Jouvenal an ex soldier, journalist and westerner who has lived in Afghanistan for twenty years.
She experienced first hand, how terrifying the Taliban could be. She says:
‘I opened up the Chadri (mesh front of the burkha) to see a tea-cup and suddenly from the back, a Taliban soldier came with a big stick, shouting at me. If you get beaten by a Taliban, you could die.
“I made myself look as old and bad as possible because if they ( the Taliban) saw you looking even a bit beautiful, they could come to your house and take you as one of their wives”
“For me having money is dangerous, kidnapping is a big problem. A friend’s uncle was kidnapped; they wanted $150 000, He was so mad he said, ‘I am not paying that he is an old man!’ Eventually they dropped the price and said OK, just cover our fuel and the bribe for the police (30 000 dollars)."