What AWWP Means: Our Writers Speak

Today I came from far away to contact the project. 4 hour walk, isn’t it long? Not for my interests of writing, it is not far away, but I need to have a man all the time with me when I come to Kabul. We can’t walk alone here in Logar. It is funny when during the day all people are working with Karzai government and at night all those same people are Talibs. So trust no one. No one knows I am writing except one of my brothers, who encourages me to write whether or not it is good. Thanks for my computer, it works. I am happy. I think I am a mother and the laptop is my child whom I love very much. I do take care of it well. —Tabasom

I took my pen to write and at first I was afraid: what to write? about what? But this was a project to write about everything, and I took the pen; I didn’t write from outside of my heart, I began to write about whatever was in my heart… The writing project gave me a voice, the project gave me courage to appear as a woman, to tell about my life, to share my pains and experiences. I wonder how big the change in my destiny is because of your work and this project. Who would trust an online class, a writing project, to change a destiny and a faith? AWWP gave me the power to feel I am not only a woman; it gave me a title, an Afghan woman “writer.” … I took the pen and I wrote and everything changed. I learned if I stand, everyone will stand, other women in my country will stand. —Roya

I am writing from Farah, a province in western Afghanistan with a low level of education, and still many men do not like that I write and don’t know why I write. They have tried to stop me from writing, but I never gave up. I will do it more and more and show what I’ve tolerated as a woman and how much Afghan people suffer in their lives. I have thousands of words in my heart to tell the world in thanks to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. —Seeta

AWWP is my heart book where I can share my every moment of life and my people’s problems without any fear, where I can say the truth. AWWP is not only valuable for me. It is the voice of all Afghan women who can’t write here. We write on behalf of them, to share their stories, and to try to show them their value and rights, and by this way to bring peace to our country, which is the dream of all Afghans. —Shogofa

What does AWWP mean to me? That Afghan women can share their opinions freely on the project, that now no one can prohibit them from sharing their ideas with the world. In the past, Afghan women didn’t even have the right to speak with a strange man. This project supports Afghan women by showing they are as important as other women in the world. It shows the world that even though Afghan women faced lots of problems, they didn’t lose their ability or courage. It shows the kindness of American women who spend their precious time working for the development of their Afghan sisters. —Sabira

It is freedom of speech into action! We can speak out about our way of life, our desires and the things we regret or like in our culture, without fear of getting in trouble. It gives people the real picture of what it takes to be an Afghan. It helps the outside world understand Afghan society far better than just hearing the news. It is the voice of Afghanistan. We women in the program are lucky. —B. Fatima A.