Words by A. Sultani
Art by H. Hidai
People all around the world have different hopes and dreams. Some hope to study at Harvard, others are dreaming about a world tour and even travelling to Mars, but here the story is different. In Afghanistan, girls are dreaming to get education and the right to work like men. It’s been almost two years since all Afghan girls had their biggest dream to go to school and university taken from them. I teach some girls English, and together we made a collection of dreams. More than 20 girls, who are 16-21 years old, wish that life was not too cruel for them. Something surprising about them is that they kept their hopes in the middle of the chaos. Although they know getting an education is a crime for them now, they come to learn with enthusiasm and a strong motivation. I see them as a diamond that becomes shinier after each carve. The diamonds who are coming from a patriarchal family and society, and then battling with restrictions but still keeping their treasures: their hopes.
Zahra’s story is worth mentioning. She says “My parents were against me going to school. Sometimes my father throws away my books, but I collect them back with tears. It doesn’t matter what happens, I want to continue and study.”
In part of her dream, note that she hopes to be free. The sweet feeling of riding her own bicycle, hair flowing free, where she could feel freedom with her whole spirit.
Other girls like Anisa want to be a doctor and serve their community. The Taliban banned all male doctors from treating female patients while they also banned girls from going to schools and universities, so how can they get a female doctor?
All Afghan girls and women are living in an ambiguous situation, and no one knows for how long their dreams will still remain unachievable. But something for sure is that they will never lose their hope and they will keep fighting for their future.