Maryam was born in Kabul but spent most of her childhood as a refugee in Iran and Pakistan. Her family returned to Afghanistan in 2003. Six months later, her father died, and her mother has supported her family every since.
I live in Kabul, Afghanistan. On the way to my home, I can see the beautiful Darulaman Palace from a distance, although it is not as beautiful as it used to be. The palace was destroyed during the mujahedeen (civil) war. The palace was built in 1921 and completed in 1925 during the reign of Amanullah Khan (king of Afghanistan at that time). It was a royal residency.
“I wish I was brave enough as you are so I could speak out for my education. You were brave enough to stand in front of your uncles and say that you are studying and you don’t want to be engaged or married. I am engaged now and after a year I am going to be married. My mother-in-law told me, ‘Stay at