Don’t Embarrass Me


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

Maryam A. introduction

After graduating from a high school in Pakistan, Maryam A. returned to Afghanistan and started high school over again so she would be able to write in Dari and learn Afghanistan’s history and geography. She recently graduated from a university in Afghanistan and is searching for scholarships so she can undertake her Master’s degree.

Kabul Nights

market stall at night

The stars shine in the night sky
All is silent except the busy street cleaners
Kabul is beautiful in the dark

Because She Is a Girl

girl with red headscarf

Because she is daughter
people say she should have been born
son, that the father is angry

Am I Guilty for Being a Woman?


Marya respected her parents and accepted their decision for her to marry the young man. She was now thirty. The engagement date was set.

The Ambitions of Children

brother and sister

When I was nine years old and my brother was ten, we made plans for 2010. We decided we would be making our own money; we could buy a car, a house, own a business, and make our parents proud.

My School in Jawzjan (part 2)

jawzjan schoolchildren

School starts at 7 a.m. and goes until noon. We would like to serve lunch to the students some day and when we are able to do so, we will keep school open in the afternoon, too. At an additional cost of $15 per student, lunch would exceed our budget.

My School in Jawzjan

jawzjan girl

Five years ago I never dreamed that I would open a private school. But now I own a school where we have 120 students and there will be more in the coming year, enshallah.

My University Days

Kabul University students

I just smile and think / What is life? / Wind blowing / Leaves dance in the trees / Students are passing me / laughing, talking, smiling / Busy friends, happy to be in class

My Morning


The next morning I had to wake up at 5 a.m. because my brother goes to school at 5:30 and I have to prepare his breakfast. When I woke, I felt very lazy. So I prayed to God: Please make this morning a weekend! But it was a funny prayer because I knew it would never be answered.