The children of Kabul are the visible signs of poverty, but Afghanistan struggles with invisible poverty: the hidden poverty. My friend Hashim is part of the invisible poverty.

The Price of Peace – Part V


Gholam’s brother gave me the name of someone who told me where I could stay in a tent made of wood and plastic located near the port. The wood was rotten and the plastic smelled of urine.

Remember Your Heart


Take the chance or leave it behind / Teeth on teeth, it is hard to breathe / Let a mirage take your hand / Stay on until the end, shaking your head



You cry, candle, without sound, / tell me your secret / while your heart melts / with the dance of your light— / a flame alive throughout the night.


photo: David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

Time gets old. I hear your voice behind the wall.

The Price of Peace – Part IV


The wind was blowing; I could feel its pull. The wind, the blue sky, the sea, and sun—all accompanied me to Mytilene. My eyes followed the horizon but my mind was in another world. I couldn’t believe we had passed one of the most difficult parts of our journey or how I had jeopardized my friends and my life by tearing the boat up.

The Price of Peace – Part III


As I rowed and the sun began to rise, it looked as if the islands we were aiming for were all connected. I didn’t know what the others were thinking or if they noticed. I just prayed that I was taking them to Greece and not Turkey. The memory of finding places on a map with my friends as a boy flashed through my mind. I was so good at that game. How different, I thought, is a real situation.

Mina M. introduction

Mina M. spent her childhood in a small town in Iran. She graduated from high school with a diploma in natural sciences and was a student in Tehran when the Iranian government closed her school. She returned to Afghanistan in 2006 and is continuing her higher education.

The Price of Peace – Part II

Turkish coast

It was raining that Sunday in Dorood. On the way to my family’s home, I was thinking about my escape and what the journey would be like. I felt strong and determined but at the same time, for some reason, the streets and the walls of houses that I could not wait to leave seemed on this day to be so kind and welcoming. I knocked on my parents’ door and told my mother and father I was leaving. Their faces contorted in sorrow. My mother cried.

The Price of Peace – Part I

afghan refugees

My brothers and sisters had been born in a place that would never give us the right to travel through its cities without having an official passing letter, a place that would never treat us like citizens, and a place that would never accept us as full human beings. My father and mother had crossed a border for the hope of freedom, justice and peace, and we had not achieved it.