Friday, 10 September 2010

Taliban Dancer.

A Radio Play.

Karima : teacher, wife of
Waheed : father of
Tahmina : child.

Halima : wife of
Mahid : friend of Waheed, father of
Elina : child.

Jabar : Taliban leader.
Pakistani soldier.
Abdul Raheen : Pakistani money lender and fixer.

Indonesian fishing boat skipper.
Indonesian crewman.
Patrol boat officer.
Immigration Officer.


Taliban Dancer.

Scene 1: An illegal girls’ school in a semi ruined house in Asadabad, north east Afghanistan. Damaged walls are draped to create privacy. Girls are learning English. On the wall, a whiteboard with sentence: ‘Hello, my name is Karima’.

This is to prepare actors for characterisations. There may be no need for an explanation at performance.

Sfx. Children calling off, village noises

Karima is teaching.

Karima : (tapping on whiteboard) Repeat after me. Hello, my name is Karima.
Class : (sing-song repeat) Hello my name is Karima.
Karima : Good. Now Elina, say the greeting using your own name.
Elina : Hello, my name is Elina.
Karima : Good. Now, Tahmina, you try.
Tahmina : Hello, my name is Tah…
Halima : (enters, breathless) Karima! They’re coming!
Karima : Who? Who’s coming?
Halima : The men! The Taliban men. Hurry, that silly bitch Sabia told her husband about the school and they’re coming. Hurry!

Girls begin to whimper and cry.

Karima : (to girls) Quiet now! (they quieten) It’s OK. Put on your hijab and go home. Just go home! (pushes them out) Walk normally by the back lanes, do not run. (calls to daughter) Tahmina! Go with Halima! (to Halima). Halima, split them up, send them by different ways! OK?
Halima : Yes, I understand, you go… and hurry. We’ll be OK. Tahmina and Elina, take my hand. (calls as she leaves with the girls) Don’t forget your burqua!
Karima : (Alone and struggling with the garment) Damned burqua!

Karima stumbles out.

To be continued...


Picture is of Shamsia, a 17-year-old young woman who had acid thrown into her face last November, by men who attacked students and teachers at a (banned) school for girls in Kandahar.

If you want to cheat (read the other five scenes now) go to ABC Pool and click on the title to access the text, but please leave a comment because it keeps the play alive! Do not be put off by the pen name 'Drof Yar'. I don't know why that site requires a pen name either!


  1. My Heart Bleeds for ' Dear Shamsia' and for the millions of other ' Poor Demeaned, Disrespected and often ... ** TORTURED** ...
    *SLAVES* TO THE WILES OF MEN * who have suffered and died over the years, all in the name of that ' bLOODY bASTARD tHING cALLED ** RELIGION **

    G'rrrrr ' Let Me At Em '!!

  2. After having read Three Cups of Tea...I was aghast at how awful conditions are for women in the Middle East( and other places too)
    How lucky I am to be here- thank you for posting this.

  3. serialised is good - keeps the tension going, Drof Yar (great pseudonym) cheers GB

  4. I recently read Princess by Jean Sasson, and its ab out a true story of Al-Saud family princess in the Saudi Arabia... It has some chilling stories about the treacherous lives women have there..your piece got me reminded of that again..I thank everyday that I'm not born there...
    Thank you for posting this... will wait for more

  5. Wonderful beginning, I was really getting into it. Can't wait.....

  6. whew...tight piece stafford..i read 3 cups of tea as well..and my heart breaks...looking forward to more...

  7. Excellent, Stafford. I am so sad for all the women victimised in this way. This genre really suits you. Looking forward to more.


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