National Geographic : 2007 Oct
PHOTO JOURNAL LANA K. SLEZIC Avid shoppers in a Mazar-e Sharif clothing store demonstrate that even beneath the shapeless anonymity of the chadri, the desire for style survives. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has declared that women may choose to wear the head-to-toe covering in public or not, but it remains a common sight, especially outside the capital. Slezic came to expect girls to shield their faces when they saw her camera. "I stepped out of a bakery on a back street in Kabul and saw these two on their way to school." The UN says a million Afghan girls who should be in school are not-adding to a female illiteracy rate that tops 80 percent. t Learn about National Geographic's Afghan Girls Fund at nationalgeographic.com/donate/afghan_girls_fund.html.