Buried under my rough jacket and my scarlet shirt,
Secured deep under flesh and bones,
My hidden heart is broken.
My hidden eyes, dark under my burqa, are crying.
The mouth that I hold shut is shouting.
The feet I walk on shiver and cringe.
My story is an endless deep pain without healing.
I try to speak…
The clouds begin to rain.
The mountains turn to ash.
My still self is hopeless.

Do you dare listen to this story?
It’s not a love story, but there is a girl who wants to be a lover.
It’s not a movie or a drama, but only the truth, my daily nightmare.
It’s not about grand presidential politics, but the poor, the insignificant,
The politics of the daily, of families, of women and children,
And yes, of men.
Let’s not forget the men.
It’s about a girl surviving, about me, but I am so many girls,
So many, just surviving.
No school, no right, no peace.
No guidance, no respect.
Just a puppet played and covered with black cloth.

Let me live!
Let me play!
Take my hand…
Take me to school, let me study.
Don’t you have a heart? Are you an animal?
You’re my father, please, don’t kill me.
Please, brother, don’t sell me.
But who will listen?
I am lost, I am hopeless…
I am this story.
My life story.
Can you hear me?
I’m still hoping.

By Aysha

Photo by Michal Huniewicz