Anthrow Circus

A Beautician’s Journey from Lost Identity to Rebirth


In the heart of war-torn Afghanistan, Zakia, a talented beautician, found herself at the mercy of the Taliban’s oppressive regime. Since retaking the country in August 2021, the Taliban has instituted increasingly draconian edicts that have clawed back freedoms. In July 2023, beauty salons were banned.

The closure of beauty salons, once vibrant hubs of empowerment for women, cast a shadow over Zakia’s once bright future. As she shared her story with Anthrow Circus, the depth of despair in her eyes mirrored the struggles of countless Afghan women whose identities have been systematically erased by the regime. The Taliban’s actions have not only affected the physical spaces but also the self-esteem of Afghan women.