People think that children can get an education easily, but they don’t understand how hard it can be in my country to study. We feel unsafe and afraid studying, even me. Just ask kids under age nine how they feel about education.
In my seventh grade in Qalay Bakhtiyar High School, when I was eleven, a day before Teachers’ Day, students were cleaning their classrooms and decorating them for the next day.
When I finished my work, a friend and I walked to the second floor to my sister’s class. Taking my last step to the second floor I heard a blast! I stopped right there. I couldn’t do anything. I was just thinking, “I will die now.”
My friend Fariha held my hand, and as fast as we could we both ran downstairs. Students were shouting, and many girls fainted. People were passing by them, and our teachers were hitting girls and saying that it was just a gas explosion.
Actually it was a bomb explosion near Darulaman palace. Lots of people died in this bomb suicide.
Another time when I was getting out of English class on a snowy winter day, there was an explosion. All the windows in the building shattered, and students were frightened. Our teachers thought that it was the Taliban coming to kill us.
As they shouted at the guard to close the door. I waited inside near the door for my sister. I saw the explosion; the man who exploded himself changed to pieces.
I saw a piece of his body full of blood, and when I focused on it in the dust, I could tell it was an ear, which shocked me. After that I got out of the center.
I hate waiting for my sister, but it kept me from death. I thank God for saving me in that shocking explosion, but you never know—what if I had been there?
That explosion in front of an English class could have taken many lives of innocent students diligently working to get an education. No students were injured, but one woman and a child died. I learned later that a man had exploded himself under a bus from the government.
By Alia, age 14
Photo by Phil Borges; graphics by Blatman Design