Living with the feeling of terror each hour, each day and night has become normal in Afghan life today. We are all thirsty for peace and security, but regardless of our wishes we are experiencing something quite different in our daily lives.
After the presidential elections were finally decided in 2014 and the new president was introduced, the new government was up and running and we were all confident that positive changes would begin to come. But what has happened has ruined our dreams. Afghans are once again losing their enthusiasm for a peaceful life that will offer women more opportunities and stop the violence against women—women like Farkhunda.
I believe that as more time passes, people will simply accept the present culture of violence and impunity. Why? Because when things happen in this country, no one takes it seriously. Our leaders don’t search hard for the solution. Most of the time, instead of finding a solution at home, they ask international communities to support them. We need a sympathetic leader more than anything else. Afghanistan needs leaders who will work for the people and for our country.
Thinking about positive changes in every aspect of our lives doesn’t mean much when every day I start my day with fear and bad news. Violence against women has increased all over, and is affecting our lives and terrorizing us.
The terror is like a steely pounce. Terror like molten iron hits me everyday. Feeling others’ fear leaves me hopeless. I don’t believe men will ever respect women. It hits me every day. I’ve lost my hope for justice.
Photo by Zoriah, from the film “1,000 Times Good Night”
Dear Asma: When a person experiences terror on a daily basis, they know hell on earth. Through your writing, through your actions, you are creating change from the inside. May more people have your inner strength and learn from your example. Stacy
There are places in the world where many men do respect
Women. I wish it were so, where you live. I don’t know how
This cultural shift can happen, but I believe, it must come from
Within your people. They must search for solutions, as you have written, and then have the
Fortitude to defend those solutions. Halfway around the world, I feel sadness. I am sorry.
Dear Asthma — I can’t imagine living with such fear and hopelessness. It breaks my heart. Shining a light onto these horrible conditions is important and I am grateful to you for being willing to share your feelings. I pray for positive change and I won’t stop believing that strong, intelligent women like you will one day be part of the solutions for your country. Nancy