For as long as the world has known her face, it has told a story.

In the beginning, when her disfigured image appeared on the August 2010 cover of Time magazine, the story was bigger than her. It symbolized the oppression of Afghan women.

Today, Aesha Mohammadzai’s face tells a story that is hers alone.

Her forehead has ballooned to the size of a baseball, and narrow, darkened, peeling and drooping flesh protrudes from where her nose once was — before her Taliban husband and in-laws cut it off. She is six months into multistage reconstructive surgery, and her face hints at a new path lined with resilience, hope and change.

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