I am an Afghan girl. I was born and spent my childhood in Afghanistan, where a girl never lives for herself. Every second of my life is lived for others. I have never been the girl I wanted to be. When I imagine that I am living in a country without any differences between boys and girls, I am sure I could do even the hardest work. In that country, I can ride a bicycle without any hurry in the streets, without worrying that a driver may crash into me intentionally. I won’t have to worry that boys will follow me with their bicycles and harass me until I arrive home. Instead of hearing the disdainful speech of old women, I will hear their encouraging voices celebrating my freedom to cycle in Kabul’s streets. With my newly found freedom, my friends would not be compelled to defend me and other girls from the attacks of our fellow citizens. In a country where all people are educated, I never need to ride my bicycle with the support of a boy in cycling group. I could ride my bicycle freely and comfortably all by myself.
Afghanistan is a country where we can’t easily find smiles and happiness especially among the children. The only thing that I can do for those children is giving them a beautiful smile for a few minutes. In this country, the opportunities that girls miss because of inequalities rob us of the pride that we can give our people. By playing the guitar, I could bring smiles to the lips of child street workers. I passed many difficulties to learn to play the guitar, another innocent pastime that is forbidden for many girls. One day I needed to bring my teacher’s guitar home to use for the street children’s program. I was afraid to carry the guitar in public. Despite many difficulties, I took the guitar. I closed my ears but I could not close my eyes. With every step I took, I feared that people would take the guitar from my shoulder to break or steal. That was the first and last time that I could bring smiles to the lips of children. I wish one day I can take the guitar again and walk in the streets with high self-confidence. When I live in a place like that, I will be happy that no one looks at me strangely and I don’t feel that men are trying to kill me with their eyes or try to stop my breath with their bad sentences.
When I imagine that I am living in a country where I do not have any horror, I believe I can make possible every work for myself and I dream of the moment when I can let my mind think about whatever I want because until now I never let myself think about something new. I won’t have to worry about protecting my body when I get on urban buses. I won’t have to experience the annoying ways that men and boys look at girls, or the risk of physical and psychological harassment. When I leave home, I can think about the activities that I should do during the day, instead of how I should go and come back to home safely. I won’t have to worry about street harassment, or harassment by taxi drivers. I will be able to ride bicycles, play football, ride horses and any kind of fun activity. I am an Afghan girl. I dream of Afghanistan when girls can live their lives for themselves and enjoy the safety and freedom to live joyful, productive lives.