My name is Shakila Naderi and I am the teacher at Naderi Driving School.
My job is to teach women how to drive. I've been interested in driving ever since I was a child. I'm married and have 10 children, 6 sons and 4 daughters.
During the time of the Taliban I was here in Kabul. There were rockets, bombs, and mines. Our children were terrified. There were times when we would hide behind a wall to avoid shrapnel. When the Taliban regime collapsed, the very next morning, we started the driving school.
My husband originally started the course. It was for men only. Women were coming but they would leave because there wasn't a female instructor. So I started teaching. I started this course in 2009. I've trained around 700 female students so far. My husband was happy I was working, because we had financial problems. We both worked shoulder to shoulder. Our course runs for 36 days,12 days of theory and 24 days practical.
Once the women finish the course I give them a certificate. They take it to the Traffic Department, sit an exam and if they pass they get their license. We advertise on radio, and I've recently opened a Facebook account that is attracting a lot of students.Women are interested in learning so they can solve their own problems.
When I first started teaching, men used to bother us, but now that more women are driving they leave us alone. When I first started teaching people would stop me and ask, “Why do you teach women to drive?"
I replied, "Doesn't a woman have the ability and right to solve her own problems? That is what makes them feel they have to learn how to drive themselves.
“No man in Afghanistan is happy to see a woman behind the wheel but women are and they encourage each other.” Did you hear that? This is Afghanistan for you. I was here for only a minute and have already been harassed by a man.
You see our Afghanistan; see how savage they are. I stayed there for just a minute, that guy tells me go there and wait. Did you see it? That’s our men. I'm so cautious because driving in Afghanistan is like being in a sword fight. People don't follow the rules. I try to avoid them, and keep a firm grip, so they don't cut me off.
I try to avoid trouble when students are driving with me. I feel responsible that there shouldn’t be any problems. I won't stop doing this work for as long as I'm alive, healthy, or unless God forbid, someone else stops me. I'll encourage and teach as many women as I can.
- Who is the Driving Instructor?
"You can’t imagine how much I love driving.
I love to be behind the wheel from morning till night."