Today's Hero Is Sara Bahayi, Afghanistan's First Female Taxi Driver


As our nation reels from the sudden rediscovery of the fact that vapidity is infinite, we must look to leaders to show us how to continue on—and Sara Bahayi, 38, brings just the example we need. The Washington Post has a terrific profile up today of this legitimate revolutionary: Bahayi is Afghanistan’s first female taxi driver “in recent memory” (I’m guessing there were a few in these gorgeous bygone republican decades), and—so the Post reports—believed to be the only female taxi driver that is actively working today.

Bahayi drives a black Corolla; most of her passengers are women, as many men refuse to enter her cab. The $10-20 she earns per day is enough to support 15 relatives, and she actively spars with her male detractors: she recounted an incident to the Post in which she “convinced a man—who believed, like many Afghans, that Islam prohibits women from driving—that his beliefs were wrong.” Though educated and privileged Afghan women occupy some prominent positions in government, women who are outspoken about liberal personal politics remain relatively hard to come by in poor and rural areas of the country, and that’s where Bahayi is doing the work.

Some more facts about Bahayi: she’s single; she started working outside the home in the late ’90s when her brother-in-law was killed by the Taliban; a male neighbor taught her to drive after Bahayi decided her high school teacher’s salary was insufficient; she got her drivers license two years ago in a class of 30 students, all male, only nine of whom passed the test. When driving into Taliban-controlled areas, she sometimes disguises herself as male, and she bought a rifle (look at this picture!) when she started getting threats to her home.

Now, Bahayi wants to break another barrier. She’s negotiating with some men to become partners in a car dealership. She will acquire the dealership license, and they will lease the place. Eventually, she said, she plans to kick her partners out — and replace them with women. It will become, she hopes, Afghanistan’s first female-owned car dealership.

Fuck yes, Sara Bahayi. Read the whole thing at the Post.

Photo via AP.

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