With all of life’s beauty, here’s a question: Why do some people hate their life and try to commit suicide to be released from a life they feel is a cage? Life is the biggest blessing given by God to every human. There are lots of opportunities to have a happy and lovely life, because life is really nice. Everyone wishes for a happy life.

But I will tell you about a girl who is seventeen and who lives in Herat, and she does not see her life that way. She is in eleventh grade in school and second in her class. I have tried to quote her exactly.

I am from those kind of people, the ones who hate life. I want to say that I really hate it. My only wish from God is to kill me. Sometimes I hate life so much that I decide to end it myself by suicide. Many times I have tried. It is my misfortune that I can’t succeed. Sometimes I remember God didn’t give us permission to commit suicide and that it’s a big sin. Sometimes I remember that I have lots of dreams for my life. My biggest wish is to improve and become a famous and kind doctor and help others.

Now do you want to know more about this miserable girl? Her name is Solmaz, a Persian name that means a person who never becomes old, but Solmaz told me, “In my mind all women in Afghanistan are named “Pain” because the only thing that Afghan girls feel is pain.”

Solmaz says that although her family has many comforts, they discriminate between her and her brother so much that it hurts her heart.

Men don’t allow women to live as they wish: they don’t allow them to speak, to breathe, or to walk. They don’t allow women to do anything and my nature is completely opposite to this kind of life. I see how every time a girl wants to go to school, the office, the bazaar, or other places it bothers the men and boys. My pains are so great I cannot say. For women in Afghanistan, dying is better than living. Living for women is a gradual death.

Often I feel that maybe God has forgotten me. I have a lot of sins, so perhaps God hates me and leaves me alone. Sometimes I feel maybe no one in this world will see me cry or hear my shouts and then I remember, they hear my shouting and they see my crying and they just laugh at me.

My father always says that a woman’s intellect is not complete, so we should not listen to her talk. These ideas hurt me and make me crazy. Why do men think they are the only wise humans?

Sometimes I speak my heart to my mother but she says: “Oh, my daughter, no one can help us because you and me are women and this is the story of girls and women who should always tolerate pain. In Afghanistan, men’s position is higher than women’s. It’s not a new thing; it’s from the past and no one can solve these problems, so try to tolerate these pains silently.”

Solmaz says she has always been the first student in her class but her family does not encourage her or care about it, while her brother receives gifts for passing his exams.

Last year he was fifth in his class and my father gave him a laptop. But he didn’t even congratulate me for my greater accomplishment. He always says to me, “For girls, being given the chance to breathe is a big gift and you should not expect any more.”

He says, ‘The other fathers kill their girls or they don’t let them even to go to school, but I let you to go to school, so you should always thank me and God for this chance.”

Now please, you tell me: How I can stand this dumb and hateful life?

By Zahra M.