Sabira introduction

Sabira was born in Kabul but spent her childhood as a refugee in Pakistan. She wants to be a politician, and she wants to travel so she can understand why, as she says, “other women are important and Afghan women are not.”

To Laugh

slezic portrait

And when they arrive at a new environment, instead of being happy, they cry, because how can they be happy when their families are in danger and not safe?

An Old Woman’s Advice

photo: Michael Foley

I, the oldest child of my mother, had taken on the responsibility to work and provide food, since my brothers and sisters were too young. We finished the days with problems and passed the nights with dread.

The Gift of My Birthday

happy birthday Sabira

No one had ever celebrated my birthday, not in my home or at my other school. So two weeks later, on the day of my birthday, I did not even think of it. As usual, I walked alone to school. I remember that particular day, it was very hot. As I did every other day, I wore a simple uniform of a black dress with white scarf. The black color of my dress drew the sun into me. I sweated as I made my way to school.

The Indignant Heart of a Mother

mother and daughter

I went inside the house and called to my husband: “Some men need you.” I stood behind the front door as my husband talked to them. They asked him where our oldest son was. My husband told them he was at the university taking his exams. Without saying anything, these men took my husband.

It was Communist period, when officials ordered the arrests of well-known and powerful people so those people couldn’t take authority from them. I couldn’t do anything to find my husband or my son because conditions in our country were difficult. I was also afraid they might arrest others in my family, so I told my children, “Your father and your brother are outside the city.”

Shouting for Their Rights

Afghan women have wings for flying. Afghan women want to be free like other birds that fly into the blue sky.

But ancient cultures and old thoughts have clipped their wings and, like birds alone in cages, they remain looking out, waiting to fly to the highest point in the sky.

Spring Flowers

Flowers remind me of my childhood / The memorable days of spring / When nature becomes alive and wears another dress

The Garden of My Homeland (Clothed in Blood and Fear)

I am a daughter who has witnessed sixteen springs and the nests / Of beautiful swallows in those winters. / In the spring, all beauty and blessings rain onto the earth. / Like in my father and mother’s house where it rained the blessing of God.