Mahtab is a widow with four daughters.
Kabul— I have not heard about human rights. I am just a poor woman. I have four children; they are all girls, I have no son to work and make money for us. I don’t have a home to live in. One of my daughters is married, but the other three are not married. Human rights has no meaning for me. No one brought me to the human rights to listen to me and to help me. My father-in-law had two sons and both of them were killed. My husband went to Iran to work and make money, but he died in Iran in a car accident. The son of my husband’s brother died as a child when he burned himself with boiled water. My mother-in-law died as a result of too much pressure, pain, and depression. The responsibility of my family and my husband’s brother’s family is on me.
I haven’t heard about human rights. I am a very poor woman who doesn’t have anyone to help me. I am not able to pay the expenses of my big family. I can only feed them less. There is no one to help me and support me through human rights.
From the government I expect peace and security. I hope the government will make a peaceful environment for us so that our children have a bright and peaceful life.
Because I am a woman and I have no son, I cannot go to find my rights. I can’t do it alone by myself. But I want my children to have rights and to find information about their rights and to get educated and make a better future for themselves.
I only have God in my life and there is no one else.
By Mahtab as told to Humira
Photo: Canada in Afghanistan/Zakarya Gulistani
Thank you for writing the story of Mahtab. It must have been difficult to write because it is so very, very sad. It is important, though, that more people can hear Mahtab’s voice and know what her life is like. Thank you so much for writing it down! This is an important achievement even if it does not solve all of Mahtab’s problems. My hopes and prayers are with you both.
Mahtab’s story is very sad, and her situation seems hopeless. None the less, I am impressed that she knows the expression “human rights.” I am left wanting to know what she thinks human rights are. I am comforted by the fact that she is religious and that she knows that her childrens’ chance for a better future is through education. It is painful, but very important, to acknowledge that there are many women like Mahtab in Afghanistan. Thank you for this writing. Suzanne