The Violence Lifted from My Shoulders When I Voted

four women waiting to vote

I stood with the women—old, young, pregnant, and disabled. No one asked how long they would have to wait.

When the Birds Sang of Freedom

two women registering

With each step I felt stronger. I remembered my husband’s instructions, but as I got closer, I began to think, Why? Why didn’t I have the right to make my own choice?

A Reminder of the Last Afghan Elections

zalmai rassoul audience

In the second elections I lost two people important to me. They worked as trainers for the Independent Elections Commission.

A Hymn for Freedom


My speech is written
by my pen on white paper.

Hope for the Future


Years ago I walked under the warm, hot sun of summer to face the challenges of a newly divorced woman with a young son.

Reality of Islam

girl praying at mosque

Real Islam says you should have an attitude of justice. But in Afghanistan I see injustice.

When the American Soldiers Came

two helicopters

It was autumn, but the trees bloomed and people heard on the radio that there would be a new government.

A Girl in My Family


I have been sentenced
in family court for the crime
of being a girl—
No education, No play, No laughing,

Football Is the Symbol of Peace


Each time the ball flew on the tournament field
Memories of war and misery were destroyed
The ball became a dove of peace

When the Nightingale Stopped Singing


The only reason he wanted me was for getting pregnant and putting out children. That was all I was important for.