My Journey to Afghanistan Posted August 18, 2011 by Ammarah

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I travelled to my homeland Afghanistan after being away for long time in July 2011. It was the most joyful and also the most painful moment in my life. I grew up in Afghanistan and I remember the beauty of the sky, when the sun raised and sat between the mountains, but after these years of conflicts what I saw was unbelievable. I could not see the sky, because of dust and pollution.

Meeting people and looking at their faces I could see the tragedy of their lives and the ongoing conflict marked all over their faces. People exhausted, depressed and devastated, women suffer from hysteria, trauma and depression because they fear and they do not know what will happen the next day or the next minute, but they still hope and wait for peace.  

By looking to people and walking on the streets of Kabul with fear, I was remembering once upon time I walked up and down on the streets and played with other kids without any fear or threat.  I was asking myself what happened and why are we in this situation.  While I already knew the answer to those questions, suddenly I heard a woman voice saying “sorry sister if you don’t mind pull you blouse from one side”.  My blouse was lifted a bit by currying my hand bag.  The voice that woman made me ask one other question to myself, that the way she told me to pull my blouse down, could she not have said to a man not to stare?  It was the most upsetting thing I faced and I realized that when women walk on the street men stare and say nonsense to them, like they have not seen a woman before. 

There was a demonstration in Kabul which was organized and guided by women who came from outside of Afghanistan.  They encouraged other women to raise their voice to stop those men who have no respect for women.  Like these women Zargohna Rassa and I also tried to confront some men who were very rude to us and wanted to show other women to they could do too, but I noticed they ignored us and were not bothered what was going on around them.

I met two incredible afghan women who are playing very important roles in Afghanistan and I found their existence agreat significance in the society. One of them was Fawzai Coffy who is a MP.  She is a profound Afghan woman I have ever met. She works significantly to improve the lives of people.  The other woman was Noria who is working in human rights organization in Afghanistan.  I met her in her office, she was talking to men using very strong language and I found her a very brave and strong woman.  She is very provocative towards men and has no fear about what others will think about her.

When I met these two women in two different attitudes I admired them, because they could be a role model and we find these kind of women very rarer in afghan society who scurvy them for their people.

In respect to those women who are brave being house wives or participate to work in difference areas with men and when they get home they do all the house work and raise their children and also admiring those women who face the brunt of the conflict and have to cope with no food and malnutrition for their children, but I wanted to know why these women ignore the situation and do not bother themselves to bring changes.   I asked this question to many women and they all said the same answer without any hesitation:  you do not know the situation in Afghanistan, you come from different country and confront, stay for a while and then you will leave, but we are living here.   At the beginning I did not understand what they meant, but as I always questioning myself and trying to analyze and find the answer for it, I found my answer. 

In an Old Persian saying: “if you do not like the image in the mirror do not break the mirror, break your face” So what I learnt and realized in the two weeks that I spent in Kabul was:  if in a place where you are not safe to live and the situation is uncertain what could you do? Walk quietly or hide yourself!

Article By Shikyba Azizi

2 Comments

  • G August 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Dear Shikuba, I enjoyed to red your article of journey to Afghanistan, and I am glad , that you and Zrguna jan came back safely.

    Reply

  • s.ukkah August 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Dear Shikyba, I found your experiences are very sad and depressing, but also encouraging and hopeful like those women ( Fawzai, Noria and Zarghona) you met, they are inspiration; not only to Afghan women but also to all many others women in many others countries.

    What should we do as a women???? until these women have a basic education and economically independent and the awareness about their situation and condition. by this way, hopefully, they might just be able to think and create an environment to change; to change the attitudes and slowly but surely transforming the undesirable culture which have been ingrained for centuries in Afghan society. My motto will be ” Stand Up for Your Rights Women of Afghanistan” and take up your responsibilities seriously.

    Reply

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