sahar gul

Let me tell about a woman I met in Parwan province in Afghanistan. This happened five years ago. She a young beautiful woman named Zeeba.

When I met Zeeba the first time, she was very sad and I had asked her why. “Why are you so sad? What is your problem?” I asked.

She said, “I am not sad, but I am thinking about my child.” But when I asked what happened to her child she didn’t answer, but instead went back to her gardening. As I looked at her she looked strong, but she was upset with herself.

A year later I went again to Parwan. I saw this woman again and she recognized me and asked me if I would like something to eat. I said no thank you, but then she said, “You have a disability, yet you’re not as sad as I am.”

I said, “Life is not without problems. We can see some people’s problems and some people’s problems are not visible. Those people who have problems inside, these are more painful.”

I said, “Tell me please, what is your problem and why do you look this sad and hopeless?”

Then she told me her story. She said her father was a poor person and when the Taliban came the family went to Pakistan. “My father couldn’t make that much money to buy food for us. My two sisters were older than me. My father gave them to very old men and he got lots of money.”

“I wanted so much to go to school, but my father wouldn’t let me. One day a man who was forty-five came to our house and asked my father about me. I was sixteen and at first my father said no, but when the man offered as much money as he wanted, he agreed to give me to the man to marry.”

She said the marriage went okay for three months, but then her husband was using drugs and started accusing her of having illegitimate relationships with men and made her stay inside the house.

“I was three months pregnant. Finally I gave birth to the child at home. My daughter was very cute and I loved her a lot. He didn’t love her and would say, “This is not my child.”

“One night he came home. He was very hungry. I was in the kitchen.” She said he hit her and then locked her in a room and when she tried to get out he threw a big rock at her, knocking her to the ground so she could not move.

“I stayed there on the ground in the yard until midnight. There was no one to help me. After a while I managed to get out of the yard and to my father’s house, which was not very far. It was four o’clock in the morning and I knocked on the door. My father opened the door.”

“When I saw him, my face was full of blood and I said to my father: ‘Call to your money to help me,’ and I fainted. When I opened my eyes, I was in hospital.”

She cried while telling me this story. I asked her, “Where is your daughter now?” She said “Now she is four years old and I don’t know where she is.”

Now Zeeba is twenty and lives with her father.

Why does it seem that women always experience the most problems? And then a woman thinks that all problems are because of her, but a man can’t see his own responsibility in so many of the problems he makes for his family. A mother can give a happy and healthy life to her children and make a nice family if allowed.

By Mahbooba

Mahbooba is currently studying abroad on scholarship.
Photo by Kuni Takahashi.