That rainy evening ,big noise of fruit sellers beside the roads, huge traffic, rush of people towards buses and cars going towards “kote sangi”, “Barchi” hit my ears and warned my eyes…very few women on the roads. For a moment my dream to visit Kabul known for its beautiful gardens, bazaars, palaces, and more progressive people and live my dreams spoiled. I was coming from the small town located in Pakistan (Hazara town, Quetta) to further continue my education in my home country, the waves of insecurity and fear were already taking my whole body. The staring eyes on me, the strange people and city was totally taking my confidence.
My first trip and that first night in a hostel among girls from different provinces, the voice of ambulance and helicopters made that night a nightmare for me. You never know what is waiting for you right that side of your faith and nice dreams. I had come with ocean of hope and desires in my motherland, I was deprived of opportunities and fundamental needs like education, health and respect in Pakistan, I was tauntingly called Afghani, and when I arrived Kabul, in an unexpected way I suffered a lot of discrimination in my own homeland, calling me Pakistani.
Life has always been hard in a host community, but being a guest in your own country, returning after 16 years is much harder than that. I found a very ill picture of youngsters in Kabul, I am telling the stories of girls who are addicted to drugs in hostels, girls who are being abused socially on the way to home, university and even families, a 16 years old girl will never tolerate all these easily, this was not an easy journey for me. During this period I understood how difficult is it to live life of a women in Afghanistan. You are judged for your little choices that matters a lot to you, you have to sacrifice your choices, your womanhood, your nature. You have to become hard as stone to fight this battle.
Yes, I am a young woman who has crossed a tribal life to live her dreams, to speak out on behalf of hundred girls in my age in my community who could not fight, who did not choose to quit the battle and surrendered to social norms and behaviors. In my community girls wear white gown instead of white uniform of college, girls learn to give up their life to make a life for man, they breathe but never live, they laugh but never feel happy…you will be tired of reading but I will not be tired of listing, believe me.
But despite these hardships, there are few sweet moments that changed my life, I got opportunity to fight all the circumstances in my life and become an independent girl, I found kind hearten girls who were not only my roommates and friends but cared me like a mother, I started by bachelors to become more empowered girl who will talk on behalf of all girls like me.
If not all, many streets of Kabul are witness of my tears, how many times I fell down and stood again, how many times I wanted to give up but I screamed inside and run towards my big dreams, today I am feeling proud of myself, I could overcome all hardships and completed my bachelors, I work in an INGO to fight inequality and injustice in my country and gathering the unspoken stories of women and girls from remote areas. I achieved half of my dreams and I am wholeheartedly walking towards more strategic and greater plans for my fellow sisters in my country.