Advocate Banoo

Husn Ban Ghazanfar

Everywhere is dark for you, Advocate Banoo.
Why are you silent, as if you were dead?
You can get your rights by advocating for them,
so why do you remain silent?

Say to me, I sympathize with you, shed tears for you.
Say to me, I am afraid of the darkness, of the night without you.
I am like you, full of unspoken words and obsessions.

The mirrors have tired, looking for you, Advocate Banoo.
Why don’t you show them your face? 
When you smile, the mirrors become happy.
Your sadness now permeates.

Tell me that you love, that you’re happy,
but not always. Don’t say you think about sorrow
and sadness. Don’t let anyone waste your wishes.

Advocate for your rights,
But do not dwell on the hardship you carry.
Do not let the barriers and limitations stop you.
Show your ability to those who think you’re weak.

You can go farther, be stronger.
Shout your achievements. Show your skills in action.
You have the power to remove injustice.

Go ahead and break down all those doors,
closed in front of you. Remove all customs
that harm women in our society. Join
the sun’s light and smile in the face of all sadness.

Oh! My dear Allah,
Come be with me all the time.
Experience my aches. Understand me.
Imagine yourself such a one as me—a girl who wants
to succeed in this society. Then you will know,
how difficult it is being a girl in today’s life.

By Friba

Husn Banu Ghazanfar serves as the Minister of Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan. She is also a writer, a poet, and a speaker. Photo by Daniel Wilkinson.


  1. “I am like you, full of unspoken words and obsessions.”

    This line will stay with me a long time, Friba.

    This poem is a powerful plea, a strong call to action… I hope it will be heard. Stacy

    • Dear Stacy,
      Thanks alot from your nice comments on my pieces every times.
      after it i will try to reply all your nice comments.
      Friba Akbaryar

  2. Dear Friba,
    It’s a wonderful writing and super.
    I like this part so much ;Go ahead and break down all those doors,
    closed in front of you. Remove all customs
    that harm women in our society. Join
    the sun’s light and smile in the face of all sadness.
    It has such a strong massege .
    Thank you,

  3. Nancy Antle says:

    This is a great poem that powerfully advocates for change — for breaking down the barriers to living a full life. Thank you for your beautiful, hopeful words of encouragement to Afghan women. I hope many will have a chance to hear them. Nancy

  4. Dear Nancy,
    thanks very much for sharing your comments in here. this is my goal to bring positive change in Afghan people life especially Afghan women by advocating and sharing their problems with all women around the world. your comments and idea about my pieces encourage and persuade me to go ahead with no tiredness
    All the best

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