When alarms go off, wee woo wee woo, ambulances pierce your brain and you have no idea what to do. Your mind goes blank and all you see is chaos …blood, screams, dust, rush, shattered glasses and scattered pieces of concretes everywhere. Telephone calls usually fail after a while after each blast. Yes, it is not easy living in a war zone where everything can turn into nothing in split of a second.
When you receive notifications on potential complex attack, a car bomb or a suicide attack around your work or residence area and you don’t exactly know when and where it might happen, it is difficult to keep your faith on future and work on long term plans.
Life is difficult in Afghanistan, and it is something that many people might have realized it. Media has always played the best part in depicting what it feels to be born, grow up, and die in the battle line. However, there is less media coverage on how it feels to live in the battle line.
Las time I was in office when a suicide attack happened right after I left office and made me rush back to office and take shelter. It was a difficult situation. Some colleagues were calling their family members to enquire on their health and safety, some of them were calling parents to let them they are safe, some checking Facebook or news to find out where the attack was. In such situations, it’s important to keep your spirit high because you know everyone is worried. So, everyone would try to be stronger and tries to calm the other one down or crack some jokes to make others forget the sour reality.
Attacks are scary, savage and painful. However, women are big-heart, head-strong, and resilient too. Having experienced a blast near our work area and having to walk a long distance to avoid the area, I decided to wear sneakers at work as long as I live in Afghanistan. That was a comfortable way of dealing with incidents.
Once, my colleagues asked why I always wear sneakers and I said, “To make it easy for me to run in if any attacks happen.” Her laughter made me uneasy in a second and I wondered if she hasn’t been in such incidents before that she doesn’t get it.
“Never let suicide attacks or such trifles ruin your fashion. You know what I do? I always wear my high heels and wear formal dresses but I have a pair of sneakers under my desk as well. Every time needed, I fetch my sneakers and wear them. You need to learn how to live in the battle area but be stylish as well.” I was surprised with her spirit. She was right, “attacks are always there and you never know when they happen, but you cannot sacrifice your life, happiness and even smallest things that keep you alive and hopeful. You should live a good life as long as you are alive”.
Afghan women have lost their homes and houses, their belongings, their beloveds… yet, they are standing strong, they have lost no hope. All women in war zones are the ones with who the world is in awe.