Ode to the Afghan Soldier

afghan soldier with rocket launcher

Look! All my brothers come to my funeral.
Your son is brave.
I am proud of my wreath.
Dear Mother: Don’t wait anymore.

Halima Is My Hero

2014-int-womens-day

Many men had eyes on Halima and wanted to marry her as a second wife, but they were scared to propose to her since according to the culture, her brothers-in-law had the priority to marry her.

Sitara

smoking-opium

She thought she’d spend her life serving him
Her four children sometimes full, sometimes hungry
She thought just be nice and obey.

Spring Had a Nice Feel after Voting

ink fingers

I asked my mom if her vote was equal to half of a man’s vote. “No they are same. One man’s vote equals one woman’s vote,” she said.

The Violence Lifted from My Shoulders When I Voted

four women waiting to vote

I stood with the women—old, young, pregnant, and disabled. No one asked how long they would have to wait.

Waking Up to Election Day in Afghanistan

voting line in Herat

In each of her white hairs, I could see the history, the terror, the fights, and loss. She was hoping that she might get one more chance to vote.

Making Voting a Family Affair

election ink in herat

We were scared as we left the house. But when we saw security persons on all the streets we felt better.

On a Sleepless Night I Dream of Peace

Sardar memorial

I watched the news on the execution-style killing of nine people—including foreigners—in a strongly guarded luxury hotel in Kabul during Nowruz on March 21.

When the Birds Sang of Freedom

two women registering

With each step I felt stronger. I remembered my husband’s instructions, but as I got closer, I began to think, Why? Why didn’t I have the right to make my own choice?

What I Expect from My New President

voter ink

As a result of the last election my country has improved a lot. Today women write, appear on TV, and speak on the radio.