Three Women in Kabul

2014-07_oral-stories-ramadan

Our writer in Kabul interviewed many women who told how high prices during Ramadan mean they cannot afford to buy food. Here are three of their stories.

Iftar only a Wish for Poor

Kabul— I am 42 years old. I am Rogal and I live in Qali Mosa in Kabul. Unfortunately having a good Iftar or Suhari is only a wish for me and my family.

We need help during Ramadan. If the government would help even a little bit, it would be better for people. I am a widow. I have six children and I work cleaning the school to pay the rent.

It is painful that in the market they raise the price of food stuffs so we are unable to buy something good for Iftar. One sack of flour is 1500 Afg and we are unable to buy it. We have 5000 Afg salary and we must pay the house rent. All of our money is spent this way.

The only bringer of food and other things to our family is me. My two sons and two daughters were all students, but because I couldn’t support them I took my sons out of school so they could work. But because of bad luck nowadays there is no work.

We want peace and stability in our country but our biggest need in Ramadan is getting food.

High Prices During Ramadan

Kabul— I am Aziza and I am 40. I live in Qali Wazir Abad and my big problem during this month of Ramadan is the high price of food.

We can’t afford to buy oil, flour, rice, or any of the necessities for a household. As I am witness, neither the government nor private sector is helping. They make everything more expensive during Ramadan. They don’t think about poor people.

It is very painful when I have to pay the rent on our house and the markets are too expensive. I have six children and I am the leader of my family. My husband is ill and has had two operations.

My wish during Ramadan is that God save our people from illness, sadness, and poverty.

We Don’t Have Food to Eat

Kabul— I am Fahima and I am 45 and the biggest issue for me during Ramadan is that we don’t have water and we don’t have food to eat.

I live in Qali Mosa. We don’t have anything for our Iftar or for Suhari. We have nothing good to put in our napkins for Iftar.

I have nine children. We live in a rented house. My husband is ill and has no job. These are my problems. I spend everything on feeding my children and on my husband’s medicine.

I want the government to rescue us from destitution. I need a place to live. Before Ramadan we had problems, but now in Ramadan with the high prices of food in the market, we cannot eat enough.

My message for the people in other countries is, despite poverty in their countries, please help save our lives.

Stories as told to Zohra N.


Comments

  1. Dear Zohra: Thank you for helping these women tell their stories, and speak back to those who would price-gouge during Ramadan. It is terrible to raise the prices of basic necessities like this–a human crime made worse by the sacredness of the the time. I hope and pray that all of these women and their families can fine the nourishment they need at a price they can afford. Stacy

  2. Dear Zohra. I agree with Stacy that it is terrible for people to raise the price of food during a Holy Month. I too hope that the women whose stories you brought to the blog will find enough to eat, and that they will receive at least some nourishment simply by having been able to tell their stories. Thank you, Zohra!
    Abby

  3. Alice Bullard says:

    Zohra,
    This is a good piece of reporting! Your writing expresses these women’s experiences with clarity and compassion. Good job!
    It would be nice if you could follow up this article with another one that gives the government’s response to these women’s complaints. Why is the government letting its citizens go without food during Ramadan? I’m sure the government could afford some kind of program to assist these women. What about the families of the men in power? How do they celebrate during Ramadan? Why don’t they celebrate by sharing with those less fortunate?
    I’d like to see a follow-up essay that seeks answers to these questions.
    Thanks for a great essay!

  4. Emily Ce Miller says:

    Dear Zohra,

    Thank you so much for telling the stories of these women. This is such an important issue to report on, and you’ve collected such striking interviews here. What a terrible injustice to occur any time, let alone during the holy days of Ramadan. This line: “My message for the people in other countries is, despite poverty in their countries, please help save our lives.” is essential to the whole story–no matter what we are lacking in our own lives and countries we can ALWAYS, ALWAYS find some way to help another. Powerful words here. Thank you Zohra.

    Emily

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