Few days ago as I was talking to a friend, I heard about a fundraising fashion show in Kabul by Young Women for Change. My first impression was a big surprise and then a smile came to my face. I realized that the movement started by the young Afghan women who has experienced and went through a lot of hardships during the past regime in Afghanistan is going in the very right and flourishing direction. This enthusiasm didn’t end right there, I started searching the web and found a viral video clip of the fashion show reported by BBC Persian in facebook. The video clip brought me joy and happiness. But it struck and saddened me when I saw the comment section. Beside some support from civilized citizens, I saw some really rude and harsh comments. That brought me here to write few lines.
On February1, 2013, Young Women for Change (YWC) launched Zeb. Zeb, like Sahar Gul internet cafe is a section of YWC, which helps promote business women and designers. The event launched career of two Afghan Designers, Salma Bayat and Banu Zeerak. It is the first time that Afghan girls from within Afghanistan are promoting their designs to an Afghan audience, specifically women.
This event was held in a local restaurant, Sufi Restaurant, which is locally designed and shows an old traditional house of Kabul. YWC is a non-profit organization; therefore, it doesn’t have money to pay places to hold our events. Our events always have been held in places that have been generous enough to donate their space for a specific amount time for YWC. As YWC has very limited or most of the time no funding through grants, it is vital for our organization to host fundraising events. YWC does not apply for funds unless for very important for a specific project. This specific event was a fundraiser for YWC and a step to sustain Zeb Designs.
We did not send out formal media invitations because of security reasons. However the event was publically published on the YWC Facebook page. As our page is open to the public, anyone had access to event. Continue Reading …
We see women and girls rarely working outside. The idea that they don’t have the ability and shouldn’t work outside their houses is very common among “owners of the society”, men. However, there are women who take the risk every day and step out of their houses to truly live as a citizen, human beings, to experience a real life and not be a house tool where they were born, will be married and die in a house or in some cases tortured in their houses like, Sabera a 17 year old from Herat . When they step outside the house they are harassed, when they say no to a marriage then acid is splashed on their face. Even after all these troubles women manage to go to school. They are poisoned or killed at home by their husbands or tortured to the extent that they see no other way but to commit suicide.
It is heavily snowing in Kabul today, Afghanistan is known for its severe winter in the past few year. We are consistently losing several life of afghans because of heavy snow and unforgiving winter. Today when I woke up early in the morning and looked at the window of my room, noticed that there is a heavy snow fall. It reminded me of people who lost their lives during winters in our country last year and the previous years. Decided to purposely walk from the place where I live(Kart e Char) to Pol e Sorkh to feel the burden of difficulties people have on their shoulders during winter and to feel the pain of those people for a short while.
Those of us whose life is limited to the basic facilities of life like food for a day, Shelter, a pair of shoes and warm cloth to wear, forgetting about Health care, education and many more. In an independent and people chosen regime in the world these facilities are the legitimate right of the citizens to be provided by the government for its people whom are in need.
Nobody can replace her
My loving mother died on the 25th of November 2012, leaving after a huge family mourning. Her principles in life were not to live for herself but for others. Her family, and everybody who lived around her, benefited from her kindness and her love.
Her compassion for her family, as I believe all mother’s compassion for their families, were amazing.
This is to cherish her memories, remember her for the good that she did throughout her life. Continue Reading …
Being Silent is NOT an Answer: See the world through my eyes
I am 14 and for the first time I was harassed today; I was asked to not talk back. A voice, my friend, said your words will provoke him more. People will think you are the “bad girl”.
I swallowed my words and with broken heart and hate for myself walked away. I am thinking to myself.
We Still Stand
Despite all odds, we still stand:
In Afghanistan, a land where women were not allowed out of the house without a male relative in the Taliban era; where we are still counted as secondary to men; we were and still are not allowed in most parts of Afghanistan to seek education; we are raped, tortured, harassed, killed, treated brutally, neglected, and ignored, WE STILL STAND.
Men seem to forget that we are the core body of the society. We are the mother and if we are not there, they will not exist. Men do not remember that despite being treated as slaves, we are the backbone of the society. Our fathers, sons, brothers and the men in our life do not trust us enough to let us choose for ourselves and be ourselves. We have to be the person they want not the person we want to be. We are their property and only they, not us, have the right to do whatever they want. Continue Reading …
I will Define Myself and Fight for Myself
In a society where 30 years of civil war did no justice to its own nation, it also left its people travelling back in time instead of moving forward with the rest of the world. The world knew who had come into Afghanistan and who was chased out, however what the rest of the world was unaware of was in the midst of all these wars there were a group of people who have always been considered no more than dust. Women, Afghan women were being used in the name of religion, in the name of culture and in the name of tradition to have their rights tarnished and their voices silenced. For generations on end it was the women of this civil war society who were abandoned and forgotten about by the rest of the world and by its own people. Afghan women were beaten, raped, tortured, burned by oil, acid sprayed, buried alive, stoned to death, had their body parts cut off, and the list could go on, but you would never be able to bare all this. Continue Reading …