Is it the sixteenth day?
Is this the day to remove violence against women?
What did I do against you?
You voted to stone me
And left my body
In the grave of violence
Why do you consider me a shame?
Why do you think it is me who made a mistake?
Why do you treat me as a donkey?
I am not inhuman like you
I have never heard a kind word from you
I am Shukria from Zabul; you beheaded me
I am Farkhunda from Kabul; you killed me
I am Rukhshana from Ghor; you stoned me
This is your fault! You are selfish !
Selfish men, I am not your property
I will not let you commit violence against me
My tired voice will become louder and louder
I will become stronger than ever
You can’t imprison me any more.
Translated from Dari by Pari. Photo: Eric Kanalstein / UNAMA
Shala — Your poem asks difficult questions — ones that have no answer I would understand. Your words are a sad testament to the victims we have heard about in the news and the ones who remain anonymous. I admire the strength and resolve in your words and your determination not to be imprisoned by men anymore. Thank you for writing this and for your continued bravery. Love and peace, Nancy
This was so powerful and heartbreaking, Shala. I read this and wish I could help in anyway I can. That’s why I feel like writing is an amazing way to get a message out there. You made me feel. You are a woman and you are strong. Thank you for this.
It is a long way from a woman’s lips to a man’s ears. Keep writing, keep speaking out, keep fighting. Thank you for sharing your poem Shahlla.
Dear my sweet Sister Shahlla jan,
Thank you for sharing your poem.
Note: The spelling of her name is like shahlla not like shala.