I am a girl
From the provinces of Afghanistan.
From Ghor, Faryab, Baghlan.
Call me a poor girl
I do not have the ability
To fight for my own rights
To live and to marry.
For twenty-one years I lived under a blue burqa
In dark houses fearful of the Taliban.
I was not allowed outside
To talk with men
To see the shining of the sun.
But I dreamed of seeing nature in its beauty.
Of encouraging young girls
to enjoy their childhood.
But my dream became a nightmare
Instead of green nature
I saw the wild faces of the Taliban.
Instead helping other girls
I was whipped.
The Taliban came after me
Punished me because my brother-in-law
took me to the doctor
flogged us both;
We were not Mahram, or family, to each other.
The Taliban took me to the burning desert,
As I stood surrounded
They each took turns whipping me with a long stick.
I wasn’t allowed to speak
If I spoke, I was flogged more roughly than before.
It felt like my life was ending.
I was poor and uneducated.
So I ask you:
Do not be the witness to the same situations
of brutality in Afghanistan!
By S Anonymous
Photo by Sgt. Daniel P. Shook
This is a powerful poem that gives a voice to the victim of this atrocity perpetrated by the Taliban — and at the same time gives voice to the victims who have not been written about in the news. Thank you for asking for an end to this brutality — and for speaking up.
WOW. This poem bears witness to the abuse and mistreatment suffered at the hands of the Taliban, and asks the reader to look and be aware of it too.
May your brighter day in green nature come someday, and someday soon. No one, man or woman of any faith or culture, should endure this.
Dear S, this poem was both beautiful and heartbreaking. I pray that the day will soon come when children have nothing but happy memories and that you will be able to freely walk outside to see the sun and find beauty in the world around you. Thank you for sharing your story.
This poem breaks my heart, that the kindness of your brother-in-law was returned with cruelty at the hands of the Taliban. The longing for freedom and justice is evident in this poem. Thank you for sharing.
The poem is so heartbreaking that shows bad situation of both physically and mentally case of women from Afghanistan. Your freedom is limited and your rights are taken. But don’t give up. Your story will influence many other victims like you and help them fight for their rights. Hope you will able to be educate in the future and have the chance to see the beautiful parts of this world. May you can see the splendid nature in the future and children can enjoy their childhood. May the love and peace forever surrounding you. Thank you for sharing your experience.
Dear Writer of the Court of the Desert,
I believe your dream to experience nature in its entirety, to witness its grace and sereneness is beautiful, and I hope that you’ve made it to a better, more peaceful place, wherever you are now, and that you’ve been freed from the oppression of both the societal norms for women in Afghanistan and the constant abuse that both you and countless others have had to endure from the Taliban. Along with not being able to go outside without fear of torture or suffering, you were deprived of seemingly even the most basic and simple opportunities, such as to see the sun, which shines so brightly in our sky, or to even converse with others without a hushed, secretive manner. On top of all of these things you’ve had to experience, you were then denied even the doctor, the most essential of all things, yet still you stayed strong, and still you were determined. Your ability to talk about your past memories and to stay supportive in ensuring others don’t experience the same things is so moving. I hope that, in the near future, you are able to experience all of these things that both I and the people in my country take for granted, that you are able to experience the sun in all of its glory, that you are able to laugh and talk with others, feel happiness and joy without feeling guilty, that you are able to go out in public without being watched and restricted at every step, and that you are able to immerse yourself in nature, and enjoy the beauty of how life is intended to be. Your simple yet powerful wish is so touching, and I conjure all of the strength I can provide through this comment and lend it to you.