Pencils and Bullets | Al Jazeera World

Nearly 30 of the documentaries I commissioned and executive produced for Al Jazeera Turk have been revised to be shown on the Al Jazeera World series on the English channel. It’s been fantastic to see them reach an English-speaking audience.

Considerably improved access to education, especially for girls, is perhaps one of the most dramatic social changes in Afghanistan in recent years. Since 2001, when the Taliban were toppled from power by US-backed Afghan forces, three million girls have returned to school. Women were previously banned from work and education under Taliban rule.

But periodic attacks against female students, their teachers and their school buildings, continue.

In this film we follow two young girls from the minority Turkmen community in northern Afghanistan as they get the chance to attend school. Hayt Gul wants an education rather than sitting at home carpet-weaving with her mother. Nooriya wants to become a doctor. Both are keen students who seek to shine in their class.

This film was reshown on Al Jazeera English’s Rewind strand which revisits some of the channel’s best documentaries.

2013 Al Jazeera Turk/2013 Al Jazeera English (Al Jazeera World strand) & 2019 (Rewind strand)

Filmmaker: Melek Demir

48 mins