In Search of a Champion


I am not sure where to begin, but I am a 28-year-old woman who believed it was my duty to vote and choose a president. Now, I have things to ask of you. Mr. President, I want you to understand Afghan women and our pains. Please listen.

We are the forgotten people in our land.

I am a simple woman who began her life in pain: born as a girl, and therefore a second-class human. When I was to be married, I had no voice in deciding my future. I was sold for a price to a man twenty years older.

Later, I was divorced and began life alone in a world of pain and despair. I was labeled with a bad word and people said that I was a bad wife. It was not true. I had to fight back against such treatment, which came from people both inside and outside the government.

I fought back for my son. He needed a shoulder and he was pure and innocent. For his sake, I had to stand up against the violence and mistreatment that was directed toward me.

Now my son is eight years old, and like other Afghan mothers, I worry about the future of all our children in this land. What will happen to them if their mothers have no voice in our society?

My future president, I am not writing for myself, but just so that you will understand. There are more than a million Afghan women whose lives are much worse. They have no rights and no way to make their voices heard.

My requests are for all the people who live forgotten lives in this land. Please heed these simple words of pain.

Please establish an economic plan that allows women to provide for themselves so they are not forced to sell themselves to men.

Take care of our young people. They are the victims of government corruption that has left them unable to find jobs. Bring peace and security so our children are able to play, season after season. Enforce the laws so that there is equality for women and the poor. Bring justice! Build a government the people can lean on, like a child leans on his mother’s shoulders. Stop the killing, the terrorism, and the stonings. Punish the tyrants among our leaders whose only interests are power and wealth.

Please bring opportunities for poor children to obtain training and education. Be like a spring season for the oppressed Afghan people whose hearts have been frozen by tyranny.

Do this with your people and for your people so that your name will be immortal on the lips of your people. Be our champion!

By Nasima

Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).


  1. Dear Nasima: You are saying it all, saying it eloquently, and saying it in such a way that any leader who turned his eyes away from your words should be ashamed. Peace. Justice. Prosperity. Protection. Love. “Be like a spring season for the oppressed Afghan people whose hearts have been frozen by tyranny.” — Yes, please, to the next Mr. President: please be inspired by these words and heed Nasima’s wise demands. Stacy

  2. Nancy Antle says:

    Nasima — You have done such an amazing job with your words — your plea — to the future president of Afghanistan. How could he not believe that what you are asking for is the right path? Thank you for speaking up for all those who can’t. I hope whoever becomes president is listening. Love and prayers, Nancy

  3. Nasima, You have said in so few words, such simple and beautiful words, what Afghanistan needs from a leader. I hope very much that your words are heard.

  4. Okhti,
    Mabrook! I hope with all my heart that your words reach the hearts of many. Insha’Allah. May peace and prosperity come to your glorious country that I had the pleasure of visiting some time ago. Stay safe and be encouraged that many sisters around the world stand with you in the hope that your voice is heard and that women and children in particular, will be afforded every protection and equal opportunity to advance their lives and communities for the betterment of Afghanistan.

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