Sharifa introduction

Sharifa grew up and went to school in Pakistan where her family moved in 2000 when the Taliban were taking over and had closed the schools in her home province. Her family returned to their home in eastern Afghanistan when she was in high school. She has one brother and one sister.

Voters’ Fears Lift after Kerry’s Visit


We are not yet completely sure about who won this election, but we feel more comfortable.

Tonight Is My Night

dark room with candles

Tonight is a night for poetry, love, and honesty.
I have my candle, my deep, dark night and
the lonely moon in a big sky.

Anxiety Builds as Votes Are Counted


People are scared about what will happen when the results are announced in July.

My Beautiful and Lovely Kandahar

harvested poppies

I love the fresh fruit, the dry fruit: pomegranates,
raisins, figs. I love the kohl, henna and bangles,
the clothing, pottery, flowers, gardens.

Turning 18 Is Different in Afghanistan


I really wished I could see her in the Ms. World competition, representing Afghanistan on TV. I wished I could see her voting in her country’s presidential elections, which were held April 5, just two days after her birthday.

Who Is This Moon?

yellow moon and spire

Who is this Star
Who occupies my night’s dreams,
Who seizes my day’s mind,
Who is part of every aspect of my life?

Dad, I Miss You

father and child

I’m Proud to be your daughter.
I have a long way to go,
but you are in my heart, in my soul.
You guide me on my journey

On Marriage and Forgiveness


Why can’t couples accept each other’s differences? Humans have different likes and dislikes, different habits, and different tastes.

When I Was Seventeen

portrait by j tanner

The doctor began to cry. He wiped away his tears and told me, “I don’t want to say that you should not work hard.