After that conversation with my mom, I felt that Afghanistan was like a big plant and all the different tribes—Pashtun, Hazara, Tajik—are flowers.
I was 13 years old when I told my family that I wanted to attend school. My family said, “Sana, how could you go to school when you have a disability?” “I know I am disabled, but I want to be educated,” I told them. My family finally agreed.
When I saw you the first time, / I thought I saw the whole world. / When I talked to you first time, / I felt everything was well. / When I felt you next to me, / I thought everything is with me.
But then I found out my American grandfather had arranged for me to go to high school in Indiana and stay with a new host family. “God gave a smile to my daughter today,” he said when he told me. After he returned to Kabul, I got my visa. Finally the day came when I was to leave. It hurt my heart to say goodbye to everyone and I thought my American grandfather wanted to cry, too, but he walked outside. I went home to say goodbye to my family. It was hard to leave them, especially my mom.
Sana contracted polio at the age of nine months, and it left her crippled. She didn’t attend school until she was thirteen years old and was given crutches by the Red Cross. She has had two surgeries so far to improve her ability to walk.
When I want to cry / I wish I could walk in the rain / When I am unhappy / I wish I could laugh with my friends
“Then I went to my new husband’s house. When I arrived, a few women welcomed me. I went to my room and sat waiting for my husband. Suddenly the door opened and an old man entered. He was around 55 years old. I said: ‘Hi uncle!’ He looked at me for one second and then he slapped me. I fell down and I said “Why? What is wrong?’ He said: ‘I am your husband, not your uncle.’”
When I was nine months old, I had a fever and my family took me to a doctor. The doctor gave me a shot and the next morning my legs would not support me. I had polio. My family did not have money for follow-up treatment.
When I was five years old, my father left my mother for another woman. Then we did not have money even for food…