I have a dream that in twenty years my whole family will be educated. They will all be together and live in peace. But I will not just sit by and wait if some of my family is afraid to educate their daughters. I will talk to them and tell them that with educated daughters we can build a family that no one can destroy, but if we don’t help each other get an education, then tomorrow our enemies will come. Our enemies will destroy us by telling us education is bad for girls or that girls who go to school will behave badly and not listen to their mothers and fathers.

I have a dream for Afghanistan that in twenty years there will be no discrimination between the rich and poor or between girls and boys. Girls from other countries will want to come and study in our country. Girls will have the right to live their dreams. This is really important because our country cannot only be built by boys. It must be built by girls too.

I will not sit and wait for this to happen. I will make myself into a leader. I will use my voice and tell people that by discriminating nothing good will come to our country. But by treating everyone equally, our country will improve and everyone will be joyful.

I have a dream that in twenty years I will be an oncologist or a lawyer. I will do this by improving myself, and by studying. I will be brave and not afraid to be an educated woman.

By Shahida, age 13