Looking at the blooming rose as the early sun rises over our farmhouse in Logar Province, I feel happy, but also sad. Because the rose has its own meaning and beauty, I believe it is like women in Afghanistan, struggling to survive and bloom.
The rose slowly, slowly grows and develops roots in the ground, as we did during the time of the Taliban when we women were left alone without our rights. We lived for years, brutalized; we made history.
We didn’t lose hope, even in the deadly desert we found water and raised ourselves and our daughters. We managed to thrive even in that deadly desert.
Finally, the roots grow into a rose bush and blossoms into beautiful flowers to make the environment beautiful and cheerful.
We too, after all this, get to shine and bloom. There will be many more roses to bloom—if we do not have our rights our daughters will. Afghan women are beautiful and brave, with hearts of steel. We have no fear of anything anymore.
I smile to myself as I look at the rose by my farmhouse. Is this my life? Is a woman like a rose? Will I stop blooming?
I am a human and I have rights. I will survive. Afghan women survived for years. When the rose dies it turns to seed and that seed turns to tens of roses. I, too, will leave a legacy of beauty and courage.
Photo by Martin LaBar