More Than Fifty of My People Were Killed Today…


Editor’s note: This was written for the more than fifty people killed and ninety injured on April 3 in the suicide bombing in Farah province where Taliban bombers disguised themselves as members of the Afghan army.

The innocent children – whose only hope was to wake up the next morning and play and who dreamed of the future just like any other children – took their wishes to the grave again. 

The mother looking for her children from the doorway – who didn’t know they would never be home again.  

The son, who was his family’s sole source of support, is dead.

The husband, the hope and eyes of his family, is lost. 

In a minute my nation lost more than fifty people.

What is the value of such blood in Afghanistan? What is the value of our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers?

How careless we are; we move about and forget. 

I read a news account of twenty children and six women shot to death at a school in the U.S. Across the country, people came together to support the families, and to demand change.

When the fifteen-year-old Pakistani girl was shot by the Taliban for going to school, every school in Pakistan sent its prayers, the nation gathered behind her, and the United Nations arranged for her medical treatment at the best hospitals.

Where was the world when Anisa from Afghanistan was shot? Even in her own country, there was no outcry. We lose girls every day. And the world is quiet.

The people of Afghanistan stay silent. The people in power keep their own children safe in the best houses or send them to other countries. This is the value of our blood. 

It is up to us. The government or the U.N. will not do it. But I am afraid. I am afraid of the men who keep me from standing up. If a girl cannot even walk the streets freely in the afternoon, how can she find the courage to speak out?  

Today my nation lost more than fifty people.

By Hila G.

Afghans bury their dead loved ones on the outskirts of Farah, western Afghanistan, Thursday, April 4, 2013. Suicide bombers disguised as Afghan soldiers stormed a courthouse Wednesday in a failed bid to free more than a dozen Taliban prisoners in western Afghanistan, officials said. Scores of people, including the attackers were reported killed in the fighting. The assault in Farah province was the latest example of the Taliban’s ability to strike official institutions despite tight security measures. (AP Photo/Hoshang Hashimi)


  1. Hila — You’ve written a powerful piece about a tragic event in your country. Particularly powerful are the lines: We lose girls every day. And the world is quiet.
    You have chosen not to be quiet and are instead, quietly brave — writing what you think and honoring all the people who lost their lives on April 3. You have spoken for them and all of us should pay attention and be outraged on their behave. Thank you writing this! Nancy

  2. Natalie Porter says:

    Thank you Hila for your courage… I am so sorry for the suffering you and your people are enduring. My prayers are with you. I am reading these stories daily from Canada because I want to understand and have perspective, so continue to write!

  3. Giselle says:

    You are not silent any more Hila. I hear you from California. Even to imagine your pain hurts. You have a lot of courage to write. Bless you. Giselle

  4. Hila,
    Thank you for bringing this story to my attention. In the U.S., we read so much news about violence around the world, here and in many other places, that it can be overwhelming and we don’t want to know about anymore of it. Your writing makes the heartbreak real and personal. Please keep writing about it. Your words and your impressions of your country are very important.

  5. This is an important story Hila. People will forget about these events unless you and the rest of the writers keep on telling them. Good job, Susan

  6. You did find the courage to speak out. Your country is lucky to have you.

  7. Beautifully done, Hila. You’ve tackled a difficult subject in straightforward and honest style. You make us pay attention by using images of real people and real pain, and you do it in a quiet yet strong voice. Please continue to write like this, sharing the truth of life – we are reading! Lori

  8. karen feder says:

    Dear Hila
    A few nights ago at a special reading of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project in Ridgewood, New Jersey (U.S.) I read your story to a crowded room of men, women and high school students. I chose your story because it was so powerful and eloquent, and every time I read your words I could feel the sadness and frustration of losing so many innocent people. You have a very special gift for writing, and I’m honored to have been able to share your story with my neighbors and friends. I hope you continue to write your stories. They are a beautiful way to honor those who’ve died.


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