My Father’s Story: Tales of a Teacher and the Taliban

father and child

“I was born in a green and beautiful village in 1944. My father was the village’s master, so we were almost rich and had lots of lands and gardens.”

I Knew a Girl


Just a street girl
Watching people all day

Maryam O. introduction

Maryam O. was born in Kabul province in the early years of the Taliban. Her family spent several years in Pakistan and Iran. She is a university student and hopes to study business administration.

My Mother Taught Me to Be Strong


She lost two of her young brothers in bombings in one week and then two months later, her other two brothers were killed by Russian soldiers.

Masooda R. introduction

Masooda R. was born in Kabul, the daughter of a shopkeeper, but the family spent four years in Pakistan during the Taliban years and she attended school there. She is a medical student.

Break the Silence


I was thinking what to write
Night and quiet
Alone in my room, near the window
With my ideas, pen and notebook.

The Purpose of Love


Your life, beside me, I bloom
Trust me!
Kiss my hands with kindness

Flower on the Ground


Her skin stained with bruises
Her mind fills with clouds
Her face blue with punches
She is an unusual flower on the ground

Meeting First Lady Rula Ghani


While we were shaking hands I said that I liked how she speaks her mind, and she responded: “To speak your mind, you need to have a voice.”

Love Took My Hand


We flew
Toward the sky’s half-light with stars shining
Slowly your kind face appeared
I saw myself draw close