KABUL, Afghanistan – At the project site, a tiny woman wearing both a traditional hajib and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hardhat walks up, smiles and says, “Hello, my name is Roqia.”
Born in 1987, Roqia can easily remember when women were denied a basic education and barred from working outside the home or even to be seen in public. But she did not give up her dreams. In truth, the oppression ignited a spark in her to beat the odds.
Beat them she did. Roqia is a modest woman who stands barely five feet tall and speaks with a soft voice. But she is respected by both her American and Afghan male counterparts as the USACE Afghan electrical quality assurance engineer for the Afghan National Defense University (ANDU) in Kabul.