- Category: TOW 2005
Writer and maker of documentaries and films, Siba Shakib was born in Iran. She grew up in Teheran and recalls learning early in life that ‘girls have lesser value than boys’. She attended a German school in Teheran. where she received lessons in five religions and where she learnt different languages. Her higher education took place mainly in Germany where she completed her studies at the University of Heidelberg. Her work has taken her to many countries, but her attention became more and more concentrated on the war-torn Afghanistan where she worked before and during the command and terror of the Taliban. Several of her documentaries have won awards, including the moving testimonials she has made of the horrors of life in Afghanistan and the plight of Afghan women in particular.
With her international bestseller, Afghanistan, where God only comes to weep, the story of Shirin-Gol, Siba Shakib drew the attention of the world to the plight of Afghan women. The book was translated into 16 languages and won many prizes, amongst others the PEN prize. Told in unflinching detail to the writer, this is the story of so many Afghan women; a story of life under the Taliban regime. Set against the Russian invasion of 1979 and the emergence of the American funded resistance, it is the story of a woman’s struggle to face day-to-day living in the war-torn capital of Kabul. It tells of a husband’s opium addiction and it’s tragic consequences of rape, of enforced prostitution to feed a growing family, of attempted suicide. But most importantly it is a story of great courage, of human kindness, female friendship, resistance, determination and love. It is the moving story of a proud, brave and admirable woman in constant search for a better life, a life where her children have a chance of a future without poverty and fear.
In her second book Samira and Samir, she tells the extraordinary true story of a young Afghan girl following her heart in a man’s world. This tale of love and courage, and of a remarkable woman who finds her path in life, gives a remarkable insight into the extraordinary lives in Afghanistan that are lived out behind the headlines.
Since ISAF, International Security Assistance Force (UN mandated peace troops in Afghanistan) started their mission in Afghanistan, Siba Shakib has been working as an advisor to the NATO led troops. Her strongest plea here is ‘Neither bombs, nor war is a solution to anything’. Siba Shakib is currently working on her next book and is adapting her books into films. When not travelling with and for her work, she lives in Italy, Germany and New York.
Afghanistan, Where God Only Comes to Weep,Century Random House, 2002
Samira and Samir, Century Random House, 2004