My Dear Sister


I wish you could wear the white school headscarf,
rather than wear the green wedding veil,
sleep all night so you could do well
in your studies,
rather than stay up all night for the baby.

The Heartwarming Winter in Afghanistan


I hate winter’s icy cold weather, the lack of equipment, the sea of mud it creates afterwards, but I love the warmth winter brings to people’s hearts and how it brings people closer.

Winter Memories In Herat


On the first snow of the year, people would put some snow in an envelope with a note that said Barf az ma, Barfi az shama.

How Women Feed the Patriarchy


A child dictated to his mother how his older sister should dress and threatened to kill his sister if she didn’t, and his mother found it entertaining.

Maryam M. introduction

Maryam M. was born in 1990. To escape the war her family fled to Peshawar, where she attended school taught by her mother in a tent. She works as a project officer in Afghanistan and speaks Dari, Urdu, Farsi, English, and Pashto.

Why Peace and Women’s Rights Matter


Every day early in the morning a woman with her five children walked fast and said, “Run my child run, walk in front of me so that I can see you, take your sister’s hand, be careful.”



Boom! Boom! Boom! Afghanistan’s morning
Alarm clock rings

On Killing the Cartoonists


Charlie Hebdo’s staff knew what they were doing; they knew the risk they were taking and I think they thoughtfully made cartoons to outrage Muslims, which succeeded, and led to their own deaths.

Don’t Embarrass Me


Please don’t try to shake my hand
It is haram, Islam tells me
not to shake hands with men

In Peshawar, I Pray for Peace


I wish for understanding for the murdered children and am praying for peace in the world.