Shakiba N. is a university student. When the Taliban were overthrown she was ten years old and allowed to begin school.
No lane is named after a woman
Yet the houses lining these streets
Are crowded with women who suffer
I am a girl
From the provinces of Afghanistan.
From Ghor, Faryab, Baghlan.
I prefer to learn in a school rather than in a tent
And I prefer to learn in a tent rather than no tent and no school
It is the way of life
I am a simple girl
With no makeup, lipstick or short clothes
I follow our religious laws
Shahira E. recently graduated with a degree in English from a university in western Afghanistan. She writes in Persian and in English.
Living in the darkness like a grasshopper on burned bushes
A young woman wearing rose-colored glasses wonders
When the bright sun
Smiles at you
Early in the morning