I am a girl
From the provinces of Afghanistan.
From Ghor, Faryab, Baghlan.
Call me a poor girl
I do not have the ability
To fight for my own rights
To live and to marry.

For twenty-one years I lived under a blue burqa
In dark houses fearful of the Taliban.
I was not allowed outside
To talk with men
To see the shining of the sun.

But I dreamed of seeing nature in its beauty.
Of encouraging young girls
to enjoy their childhood.
But my dream became a nightmare
Instead of green nature
I saw the wild faces of the Taliban.
Instead helping other girls
I was whipped.

The Taliban came after me
Punished me because my brother-in-law
took me to the doctor
flogged us both;
We were not Mahram, or family, to each other.

The Taliban took me to the burning desert,
As I stood surrounded
They each took turns whipping me with a long stick.
I wasn’t allowed to speak
If I spoke, I was flogged more roughly than before.
It felt like my life was ending.

I was poor and uneducated.
So I ask you:
Do not be the witness to the same situations
of brutality in Afghanistan!

By S Anonymous

Photo by Sgt. Daniel P. Shook