“I remember in 2011 when I first heard of AWWP, I felt that a door had opened for me to reach my dream. AWWP is like an open notebook and each page expresses the dreams of a different hero-woman. AWWP lets women raise their voices even from behind the burqa, and shows that we can start to bring change, equality, and democracy. Who knows? Our writing might change our lives, and not only ours, but those of the people who read our work.”
– Nasima, forced into a marriage at a young age, now supports herself on her own.
“AWWP changed my life. It helped me understand the value of writing. Now writing is like breath for me. Sometimes, I dream that we women have pens, and we face men with stones. The men are trying to beat us. But they cannot face the power of our pens. Writing is like my wings to fly from violence to a safe place, and from war to peace. In the end, I don’t have enough words in the world to express my feelings about AWWP.”
– Zahra, 15, is an Afghan refugee whose family fled to Pakistan.
“Sometimes I have seen women who were victims and who I could not help, and I felt sad. But when I shared their problems with AWWP, I felt that I could be their voice. AWWP is the voice of all women. When I write and share with AWWP, I feel wonderful.”
– Arezu, 26, is the mother of two in Afghanistan.
“AWWP shows the world that Afghan women are very talented. I wish that AWWP could be in every province of Afghanistan.”
– Shabana joined AWWP in January
The voice of an orphan who shakes from hunger
The voice of a mother who lost her sons
The voice of a woman who burns under the burqa
The voice of a girl who lost her dad
A voice for hope
A voice for change
The voice of everyone
It’s called AWWP
– Nahid W. is an Afghan refugee in Pakistan who recently published her first e-book of poetry and drawings.
“AWWP has changed my life in a very positive way. From the day that I started working with AWWP in Mazar-e-Sharif, I have met many girls with different thoughts and ideas. Working with them gives me energy for living. My husband does not like for me to go out and work in society. But staying at home feels like I am dying every day. So being able to go out and work with AWWP—and write—is helping me think positively about my life.”
– Humaira is a mother of two in northern Afghanistan.
“I am very happy and very lucky to be able to study as a part of AWWP. I love AWWP’s teachers and mentors, and what they are teaching us. Since joining AWWP, I have seen many changes in my life. My English has become stronger, my writing skills are improving, and I am learning how to write an essay and a poem that might be published for the world, giving me a chance to share my heart’s sound.”
– Ayesha R., 15, is a high school student in Afghanistan.
“At AWWP we can share our feelings as women and when we see something happen in our society we can read our friends’ and colleagues’ comments about these bad, or good events. Although I have not written on many topics I have learned many things from reading others’ writing and their poems and AWWP’s monthly workshops in my province are so useful. I have learned to write an essay by learning the rules of writing.”
– Negina is a recent law graduate and women’s advocate in Afghanistan.
“My grandfather inspired me to be a writer and I always wanted to belong to a community where you are surrounded by precious and delightful writers and poets. Now I am passionate about sharing my ideas through pieces of poetry and essays with AWWP. It has changed me greatly. It has changed my perspective and helped me to deal with my daily life. I am so happy to have joined this marvelous community and when my essays are published it encourages me more. It means so much to me.”
– Mary B. is a high school student in Kabul.
“My writings published in AWWP are like a translation of my feelings. I am able to talk by writing. When I joined AWWP I left behind a silent woman who did not dare to look someone directly in the eyes and had to ask for permission. I was able to show a picture of my own self, a woman with long black clothes under my blue burqa. Silent.
– Pari is married and has a young son.
“they cannot face the power of our pens. Writing is like my wings to fly from violence to a safe place, and from war to peace”…………….Thank you, Zahra, for these very wise words. They words that speak of refuge for you, and encouragement and refuge you can offer to your sisters and your mothers and your daughters.
I lived in Afghanistan and went to high school there at the American School, in the 60’s, during the good times, the time of the King. My heart has broken many times since, seeing how much has been lost, and how much suffering there is, particularly for women. I encourage you to keep writing – you are eloquent indeed for one so young, and there is great power already in your pen. Many blessings.
This is an extraordinarily important site for the women of Afghanistan. It gives them a voice to the world where they can share stories that would otherwise remain silent.
I want to thank the women and the organisation for making this possible.
“Writing is like my wings to fly from violence to a safe place, and from war to peace”.You are right Zahra. And they cannot face the power of your pen. Sometimes you will feel as though they crack your pen in half and beat you until you feel your voice is gone. But they can’t. Because you are strong, so so strong, and if you just keep writing, I know you will find your way from war to peace, from violence to a safe place. You are so wise Zahra, and I really think you have an amazing gift. So keep writing. Keep taking breaths. I have faith in you, and I know you will continue to speak for all those women who can’t.