The dream route. Parisa’s story.

Parisa left Afghanistan with her family during the first Taliban regime (1996-2001) while still a child and grew up and studied in Iran.

At the age of 16, there was the first leap into the dark. She was given in marriage by her father to a perfect stranger, with no possibility of opposing it. Parisa was patient and lucky. Over time she managed to build a loving relationship with her husband, with whom she had three children. But she still thinks that, It's the right of every boy and girl to choose their own future and that women should be free to decide for themselves.

Years later, the second big change occurred. She left her life in Iran and returned to Afghanistan to follow her husband.


I didn't remember anything about Afghanistan, I was too young when we left. In Kabul, I started working as a journalist for radio and television. After eight years, I left journalism. There were too many attacks and I got in touch with NOVE, which was developing a women's mobility project-


Parisa passed the selection process and attended the NOVE women-only driving course, becoming a Pink Shuttle driver. She was one of the first professional women drivers in Afghanistan.

It was not easy. Women had never been seen driving public transport before. At first, Parisa did not feel comfortable driving a large van around Kabul and she was sometimes afraid.

In the city there were often attacks. They also had minor accidents --- flat tires on bad roads or someone insulting them.

In time she got used to it and she felt stronger.


We female drivers have learnt to overcome fears and obstacles. We were proud to be part of such an important project for Afghan women and it was also important for me to regain my independence. My childhood dream was to become a driver. It seemed impossible and yet I managed to achieve it. Afghan men say driving is not for women, but my colleagues and I from the Pink Shuttle have shown we can do it, and do it well.


When the Taliban took Kabul in August 2021, Parisa’s life was turned upside down again. Evacuated from Afghanistan with her husband and 21-year-old daughter under Operation Red Handkerchief, she landed in Italy.

NOVE added to the support given by the Italian State by offering, through the project Oltre l'Accoglienza (Beyond Reception), Italian classes to the whole family, material goods and legal and administrative guidance. She also participated in the Refugee Trauma Initiative Training programme.


We have struggled hard to win rights and freedoms. We could have continued and done more in our country. But instead, when the Taliban arrived, we had to abandon everything and to leave. It was very sad. But I am happy with how I was received in Italy. Here, I have the tools to start again and a new opportunity. I am learning the language and I hope to be able to open a beauty parlor soon together with my daughter.


Parisa is competing for funding to start a business.

NOVE has been continually at Parisa's side since 2019.

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