She Is Me

mutilated ear

Silent and immolated by my society’s bad customs,
I believe in love, forgiveness, loyalty.
I am a woman. What do I get?
Violence. They beat me, cut my nose and my ears and my fingers.
In this, who is immolated?
She is me—
My father hands me over to bad custom.
When my father, brother, or uncle kills a person, I pay for their crime.
Instead of the bier of the slain, uncle gives my body—my words unsaid—to the slain
man’s family.
They do the crime; I must pay with my body and my life
and even then, their violence doesn’t stop.

I am a Muslim woman, and I love my faith.
But they have introduced a wrong Islam.
They filled me with a violent, unjust Islam of humility, reclusion, and patriarchy.
I must be aware and wakeful.
I must know myself, and have my own picture from myself, not others
I must find my position in the world.
I must stand and advocate for myself and other women.
She is me—
an Afghan woman and an Afghan girl.

I dream of being a free Afghan woman
with deep knowledge and honesty,
with knowledge of my Islam and my self,
the Islam of equal rights for mother and father,
the Islam that allows both sisters and brothers to learn and
the Islam with a life message to all women:
I am human. I will be free.
I have rights like others around the world.
I love my Islam and my Allah, so kind and loveable.

By Friba

Photo: Evelio Contreras/CNN


  1. This is so beautiful, Friba.
    You ask and ache for the things that should be basic, that should be protected and guaranteed.
    We know nothing is guaranteed. But we can do so much more to protect and love one another, and ourselves. You provide an elegant, loving example.
    I hope this poem is ready by many in your homeland, and by many abroad.


  2. Melissa says:


    Your words are beautiful and powerful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Keep writing!

  3. Thanks to your comments my dears.
    Just I want to share my homelands’’ women ache and unsaid words with you all.
    I know I can’t do anything for them but I can raise their voices to all women around the world.
    Looking forward to hear more from your sides about my pieces.
    Friba Akbaryar
    Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

  4. Heidi Cooke says:

    stay strong, keep kicking, keep talking, keep writing, keep hopeful xxx

    • I am replying to you after a long time, just I reread all comments on my pieces
      dear Heidi thanks a lot for add and share your nice words keep writing, hopeful and being strong
      with warm regards

  5. Elizabeth Titus says:

    So beautiful, Friba! You describe in clear words what has been done to the religion you love so dearly — it has been used against women.

    Keep on fighting!

  6. Dear All Women,
    Thanks a lot to your nice comments and stand with me.
    You are right for being hopeful, being strong and being standing, as you know some we become tired for all fighting and advocating .just I need your cooperation and encouraging me.

    i am very happy to have all of you with myself,
    By warm regards,
    Your Friba

  7. I love my God. I believe He is the same God you love. I know Him to be love. I do not know what man has twisted our God’s words. I know it is fear that caused the hateful actions, but I do not know why they fear so much. But they do. Your courage hurts because I believe in the Love you believe in and you are suffering. So, it hurts. I am a woman who does not understand the fear of men at our very existence. When God offers the wisdom to overcome the fear. How do I support you? How do I let you know that I hear you and I am listening through my pain because yours is so much greater so I must hear you. I must listen. I must see. I must try to understand. I must because you write. Your words are your voice. Your words represent God. I must because you do.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dearest Friba—It is revolting and heart breaking. You’ll definitely own your position in the world once you struggle. You will always find your afghan sisters behind yourself persuading you. We love you for your sacrifices.

  9. Dearest Friba—It is revolting and heart breaking. You’ll definitely own your position in the world once you struggle. You will always find your afghan sisters behind yourself persuading you. We love you for your sacrifices.

  10. Dear Friba,

    Part of your poem was posted on the Daughters of Afghanistan page. I thought you would like to see it.

  11. dear Meena, thanks from your words and being with me. I want to share and raise my voice as an afghan girl . I want to share all of them pains and challenges with all. just I can do it foe my Afghan women .

    Friba Akbaryar

  12. Dearest Amena,
    thanks for choosing my piece to your face book page.
    but after it when you want share any my piece please share that with my complete name .
    Friba Akbaryar

  13. thanks for all women and my best friends who added their comments and shared it with all .
    your comments and idea encourage me to write more and share with all of you. I want to raise my voice according as an Afghan woman. I know my mothers and sisters have lots of unsaid words and lots of pains in my country I want to share it with all women around the world . I need your cooperate and idea.

    an especial thanks from Amena jan who added my full name
    Friba Akbaryar

  14. Farzana says:

    My Dear Friba,

    I am impressed by your words. The way you raise your words is superb and great.

    Keep it up my dearest.
    Your sisi Farzana

  15. Meena you are right

Speak Your Mind