My Mother’s Cancer


I was so confused why she came from Kandahar to visit a doctor here in Quetta. I giggled and asked her if she missed the doctors of Quetta. She smiled back and didn’t say anything, although everyone seemed angry at my stupid question.

My Dream

college campus

I feel like the luckiest girl on Earth. It’s like a dream to be able to go to college in the United States. I used to hear about the United States in books only. Now I made it, and I am looking forward to studying and having my dream come true, Inshallah.

Grandma’s Kitchen


Crowded as a fish market
With walls as white as a glass of milk
It is a place of love

Yagana introduction

Yagana was born in Kandahar, one of five children. During the Taliban period, she and her family moved to Pakistan. She is currently studying business administration and wants to be a lawyer.

Part of Our Lives Now


“Oh my God—we’ve been attacked by a suicide bomber,” Mursal shouted. I was scared but I didn’t shout because I didn’t want Mursal to be scared even more. It was Mursal’s first time to experience such a blast, though I had experienced an earlier deadly explosion at the Indian Embassy.


“Afshan and I miss you a lot. When are you coming home, Ahmed?” asked my mother. She repeated this three times, but still, my father didn’t reply.

Mom started crying. “Please, Ahmed, we love you. Come back, if not for me, then for our daughter. Afshan is not yet 16 years old.

The Crime of Falling in Love

My mother works for the United Nation Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, (UNAMA). One day, in March 2006, she came home from Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar Province very upset about a case. I asked her what worried her. “Is it something again about a female?”

“Yes, my dear,” she said. In the hospital was a girl of 13, Shukriya, from Helmand Province, who had tried to commit suicide.

Saliha’s Rape

Saliha was 15 years old when her father received 120,000 Pakistani rupees (about $1,425 USD) in return for agreeing to marry her. Her fiancé, Ghani, son of Baqi, was more than 30 years old, had been married once, and had children. He lived in Kandahar. Saliha was unhappy with her father’s decision but had no other choice than to follow his orders.


behind the veil

When I became a teenager, I began thinking about marrying my cousin Sahil. This had been discussed between my aunt and my father when I was born. I liked Sahil. He used to tease me, saying: “Oh, Vida, you’re too fat to marry.” I would get upset, but then he would say: “I am kidding.”

You Were The One…

You were the one, who looked in my eyes and said: “I like you” / You were the one, who held my hands and said: “I love you” / You were the one, who promised to love me always / You were the one, who showed me the world in totally different ways