She Is …

burqa shop

She is not a commodity to be hidden,
under black Hijab.
Worthless people do not know the worth
of others.

Heaven Doesn’t Need a Key

taliban check point

The key is within you.
Open Heaven’s door with love,
With kindness, honesty.
Find paradise where you are.

An Afghan Girl Educates Herself (part 2)

flagellation

Now my younger sisters will not be forced to marry a man who sees women only as feeble-minded, second-class citizens or weak members of society.

An Afghan Girl Educates Herself (part 1)

sheep-herd

The Mullah laughed and turned to the girls and teased: “Oh, I will see how you girls will go to school!”

Nelson Mandela, an Inspirational Hero

nelson mandela

I have wanted to go to South Africa ever since reading about Nelson Mandela’s hard work for peace and his anti apartheid movement.

My Little Princess

Smile of Angkor

I am going to draw your dreams in Baba’s big rocks
Your smiling face in Buddha’s visage
We will laugh out loud
Shout
Holler and hoot

I Feel Lost

cell phones

I feel homesick for the
Crowded streets of Kabul
For the loud voice of the potato seller in the alley

Life with No Music: The Taliban Years

morcha guitarist

“Look, we are Muslims. A good Muslim always follows the Islamic rules. Give this letter to your father and tell him that he should not listen to music anymore.”

Moments with Grandma

elderly woman portrait

When we would go outside to the trees every evening to gather almonds and walnuts, she recited Hafiz’s poems along the way and I walked by her side.

Learn from the Gardener

woman gardening

Let’s learn from the gardener
Whose dreams are green