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.
Safia R. lived in Kabul and Jalalabad for most of her life. During the Taliban era when she was not allowed to attend school, she studied secretly and later finished a university degree. She works on behalf of gender equity.
Once a teacher said, “It’s not right for a woman to sit in the first row of this class.”
I cherish the beauty of my dreams,
The beauty of my mind,
I can’t stand your screaming, dear.
Let me know calmly,
when I’m wrong.
The front seats of the bus were filled with male students. One boy stood to give the man his seat. As the bus driver started driving, his wife and little boy walked toward the back.
She lived in the north,
on that side of Salang.
I see pails of snow there
on the big rocks—
When he cut the roots of my grape garden,
He said: “Die of hunger.”
When he closed the door of my school,
He said: “Die of ignorance.”
I remember when I was always alone.
Afghan society gave me an empty timetable
As if I had no right to a full agenda.