In some ways, the orphans and I have a lot in common. We are survivors. Some define a survivor as someone who manages to live through a bad situation. Others define a survivor as one who lives on after their loved one has died. A real survivor is someone who gets through the bad stuff and does not let the bad stuff get in the way of life.
Marzia grew up in Herat, the fifth of seventh children. She feels her life did not begin until after the fall of the Taliban. She is currently a student, and after her studies, hopes to be a lawyer working for women’s rights in Afghanistan.
When I was twelve years old, I had my first marriage proposal. The person was my aunt’s sixteen-year-old grandson. My parents were furious at the boy’s family because I was a child who didn’t know the meaning of marriage.
Life is like a river. Sometimes it is rough, and other times, calm. We are all on a journey and do not know where the river will lead us. Since life offers no guarantees and we will not know whether our decision is wrong until we have made it, I believe we should take the risk and not be paralyzed by fear. Taking action is better than going nowhere.
When I was ten years old, I was a student in a tailoring shop. In my teacher’s neighborhood there lived a family with one son and one daughter. Their son was 7 and their daughter was 14.
In our culture, girls are not allowed to have boyfriends or relations before they get married. But this family’s daughter had a boyfriend without telling anyone about it. The girl’s name was Zainab; she