KABUL – Dozens of Afghan schoolgirls have fallen ill in recent days after reporting a strange odor in their classrooms in northern Afghanistan, prompting an investigation into whether they were targeted by militants who oppose education for girls or victims of mass hysteria.Any time you have schoolgirls, you will have occasional episodes of mass hysteria, which go like this: schoolgirl notices strange odor, feels sick, lies down, schoolmates follow suit, triggered by sight of first girl. All go to hospital. All appear well, and are quickly released. School is closed and investigated. No toxin found, or some trivial cause of odor detected. Episode ends.
The fact that this is playing out in Afghanistan is a good sign. It means that Afghanistan's institutions have rejoined those of the rest of world, and are suffering the same silly problems as those of other nations. Occasional outbreaks of hysterical schoolgirls mean -- your nation has schoolgirls! Congratuations, Afghanistan, and welcome back!