Aisha, Afghan Teen Mutilated By Taliban, Comes To U.S. To Have Reconstructive Surgery

The mutilated Afghan girl featured on a controversial Time magazine cover is preparing for reconstructive surgery in the U.S. that will give her a new nose, the BBC reports.

Aisha, 19, will reportedly meet with Peter Grossman of California’s Grossman Burn Foundation next week to discuss having her nose rebuilt. Grossman’s foundation campaigns on the issue of violence against women as well as providing free plastic surgery work, according to reports.

“I don’t know if it will help other women or not,” Aisha told The Daily Mail, before adding that she was “happy and excited” to be going to the U.S. “I just want to get my nose back.”

Aisha, who has never revealed her surname for fear of reprisal, told Time that her nose and ears had been cut off by her abusive husband, also a Taliban fighter, after she ran way. She had been married at 18 as part of a “blood debt” after her uncle killed one of her husband’s relatives, but now lives in a women’s shelter in Kabul.

The image of her badly mutilated face appeared on the cover of the Aug. 9 issue of Time alongside the headline “What Happens If We Leave Afghanistan,” which immediately sparked debate. “This violence happened while the international forces were in Afghanistan,” wrote Krista Riley, a contributor on a Muslim women’s website, Muslimah Media Watch. “So the logic leading to the conclusion that things would necessarily be worse if ‘we’ left isn’t exactly clear.”

Time’s Managing Editor Richard Stengel has defended the use of the photo, stressing that Aisha posed for the photo deliberately and that “she knows that she will become a symbol of the price Afghan women have had to pay for the repressive ideology of the Taliban.”

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