A Kaaj attack victim. Her dream was to become lecturer

The room of Samira Himmati, a victim of Kaaj attack.

Among dozens of young women killed in a suicide bombing at the Kaaj tutoring center in the west of Kabul on Sept. 30 was Samira Himmati, 18. She was a hardworking student, making utmost efforts for a bright future for her.

Samira Himmati was an ambitious woman with big dreams for her future, her parents described, saying their daughter wanted to become a university lecturer to serve the country.

A wedding party was happening on Saturday, Oct. 1, a day after the Sept. 30 attack, to which Samira and her family were invited. Her parents asked her to prepare for the wedding and skip the exam. She denied it and preferred to attend a practice test for the annual university entrance exam along with hundreds of other students at Kaaj institute in the west of Kabul. It was her last time to pick up her pen and write for her future.

She belonged to a family with economic problems but was strongly supported by them in her studies. A bookshelf full of school textbooks and some novels and a bag are the only belongings left behind from her.

Samira Himmati, 18, was killed in an attack on the Kaaj tutoring center in Kabul on Sept. 30.

Her father, Ali Himmati, said he had prevented Samira from going to the tutoring center many times, but she used to insist that she would be fine.

“She was a topper. She wanted to serve society and become a university lecturer in the future,” Samira’s father said.

“She had a different personality. She was hardworking and kind. She was awake late at night to study her lessons and her family fully supported her in achieving her goals,” her brother, Ahmad, said.

The attack day

Samira’s brother was woken up that morning by the sound of the explosion that happened at Kaaj. But he didn’t think it would take away one of the dearest members of their family.

“When the attack happened, I received a call from Samira’s classmates… When I arrived at the center, I saw the classroom was destroyed, and bodies were seen everywhere. Some were unrecognizable… We could not find Samira,” her brother said.

They found Samira’s body at the hospital where they entered under the pretext of donating blood as they were not allowed by the Taliban.

“Samira was a kind person. She always tried to keep happy those around her,” her mother, Anis Gul Himmati, said.

“The day she was martyred, I asked her not to go to the exam, and instead, prepare for her cousin’s wedding the next day. She didn’t accept. She told me she has to attend the exam,” her mother said.

Samira was highly interested in studying.

Samira Himmati’s parents standing near a cupboard used by her when she was alive.

“Her father migrated for four to five years to afford the needs of his family and the expenses of her studies so that she can get educated. She was highly interested in studying. She was studying late at night. I used to ask her to go to sleep. She used to say that she will not be harmed by studying,” Anis Gul said.

Samira’s story is one among dozens of other victims of the Kaaj attack. All were young and ambitious and had attended the exam with the hope of building a future themselves.

But dozens of other Samiras were killed in the attack and were buried with all their dreams.