The place that makes me happy is Mazar-e-Sharif,
my mother’s homeland.
Sometimes I feel it a special place just for me.
My uncles, my aunts, my friends—everyone lives there.
When I see them, I want to stay and when
I see my mother there, she is happy and it makes me happy too.

I am from Kabul, but I love Mazar.
It is so green with beautiful trees,
mountains to hike and so many streams
to wash your face and run through your hands.
Too cold to swim in, but I feel safe and peaceful there.
The mountains are big and tall, in colors from blue to red.
They are lush with green trees,
and everything green brings a sense of peace.

There is no Taliban
Sometimes there is fighting, but not like Kabul.
Mazar is much better than Kabul,
which is too hot in the spring.
Its mountains make me run
The sea makes me fresh.
This is why I love Mazar—
It is the most important place for all of my family.

By Madia, age 14

Photo by Phil Borges.