Family plays a large role in who we are today and who we become, and mothers play the most important role. My mother taught me to try my best, to treat everyone equally, not to give up when things get hard, and how to be stable and strong.

My mother endured many problems in her life. She lost her father when she was five years old when the Russians were fighting in Afghanistan.  She lost two of her young brothers in bombings in one week and then two months later, her other two brothers were killed by Russian soldiers.

Normal lives were disrupted during that war. Children, especially the girls, could not go to school.  But despite the difficulties, my mother continued her lessons, even after losing the very people who had encouraged her to study.

Life was hard for a sixteen-year-old girl who had lost five family members and had no male left to lead the family. But she never retreated. She supported her mom by working hard and helping her to be hopeful and look forward, not back. She finished high school and went to university to study Medical Sciences.

In her second year of college, my father asked her to marry him. She accepted and after one year they married. They had a beautiful life together. After graduating, my mother worked as a teacher in a Kabul school for two years. After I was born, she stopped working and stayed home to raise her children. She educated us.

My mother is my hero and the angel of my life. She has helped me in every step of my life. She listens to me. She was always strong and taught me how to live and look forward. I love you, mother. I am grateful to my God for giving me such an angel in my life.

By Maryam O.

Photo by Michael Foley.