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Under the fire of tradition

2009/05/18 | El País por Ángeles Espinosa

Habib Royan doesn't know his age. She doesn't find it relevant either. What matters is that her and her family have managed to escape with life from Buner, a beautiful valley Northeast of Pakistan turned into a battlefield between the Army and the Talibans. "I miss my house", she says still traumatized after two weeks of bombs. The ferocity of the combats have made them descend to the withered plains of the neighbouring district of Swabi, a but further South. Her, her mother and brothers suffered more than gunshots, there were, like many other women, collateral victims of purdah, Pastun tradition that does not allow women to be seen by men of other families. "My father works in Dubai and there was no other man to take us out", Habib Royan explains. They remained locked in their houses with hardly any food.

Habib Royan no sabe qué edad tiene. Tampoco le parece relevante. Lo que importa es que ella y su familia han logrado escapar con vida de Buner, un hermoso valle del noroeste de Pakistán convertido en campo de batalla entre Ejército y talibanes. "Echo de menos mi casa", dice aún traumatizada tras dos semanas de bombardeos. La fiereza de los combates les han obligado a descender hasta las llanuras agostadas del vecino distrito de Swabi, un poco más al sur. Ella, su madre y sus hermanos sufrieron algo más que cañonazos, fueron, como otras muchas mujeres, víctimas colaterales del purdah, tradición pastún que impide que las mujeres sean vistas por hombres ajenos a la familia. "Mi padre trabaja en Dubai y no había ningún hombre para sacarnos", explica Habib Royan. Permanecieron encerradas en su hogar sin apenas comida.

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