I was seeing him almost after two years. My father had become much weaker than before. When I said hello to him it was then that he saw me sitting in front of the television because he could not see as clearly as he did before. He was shocked seeing me and when I realized both of us were crying with my head on his chest. He held my hands and was kissing them, and he tried to do the same to my feet which I did not let him do.

I was going back home for summer break of 2012 after two years studying at Asian University for Women in Bangladesh. I came to AUW without my father knowing and also I went back without him knowing. At the first place, I was afraid that he won’t let me go. When I went to Afghanistan for the vacation, I was still afraid of what will happen and what will he do. But his behavior made me believe he supported me. At least he supported me by not standing on my way and by forgiving me if he has done so. Though, sometimes I think maybe he just doesn’t care. Even I thank him for not caring so that I can continue.

My relationship with my father has not been good since our family returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan in 2005, especially since he married another woman in Afghanistan. Sometimes, I do say he ‘betrayed’ my mother and us though this phrase cannot be considered a correct one to use in Afghanistan for a man. It has always been women’s betrayal to men that has been counted, not men’s, so I don’t really have the right to say this.

After the vacation, I returned to AUW again without telling him. Though, this time it was more difficult than before to not tell him, I did not and also did not want to because to me it was to risk my future and many other women like my mother for whom I think I would be able to do something after I graduate. I think I did the right thing although many people have told me I did wrong.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Girls Transform the World 2013.

Comment on this Post



Whatevery you do for the betterment of the world and yourself is right.

IF it were me, I would have done the same.

My mother had 3 daughters for my father, he was a Muslim, my mother told me that my father would always say 'give me these girls school fees so that I can spend it to buy palm wine"

My motehr supported us throughout school. My father died early, in 1976. My mother's only regret is that my fatehr did not live long to see all her daughters graduate. She is very proud of us.

I am proud of you darling sister!!!!!! RIDE ON SIS.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

This is so moving. I am lucky to have a great dad, who is very supportive of me and my little sister, and I couldn't express how much it matters to me that he's there for us. So I can only but imagine how my life would have been without his ongoing support.

Even though going away this time without telling him you were going back to university was more difficult, at least it means you had good moments with him and you could see he's considering you. I truly hope he will be thrilled when you graduate and that you will be able to celebrate this time as a family, together.

Congratulations for keeping up with AUW. Wish you all the best for the rest of your studies! How many years do you have left before graduation?

Much love from Europe, Aurore

I am in admiration of your courage and strength of heart. It is very difficult to go against a parent' wishes, especially a father. Your one voice speaks volumes and will have a ripple effect as other young girls witness what may come of getting an education in spite of the many challenges. Your generation are the ones who will stand up for themselves and will effect change transforming the lives of many with your actions.

You inspire me deeply and I hope that one day, your father will see the beauty and strength within you. I know that we all do. Wishing you the very best in your studies. Janice

This is the first thing I opened this morning! AND I am very delighted to see so much support from you all..and so much inspired..Thank you all... And, dear Aurore, I am an undergraduate II student ... two more years to go at AUW... :) Best,


Dear Rabi,

I understand how it might feel to have to lie to your father. Now that my father is gone, he passed away almost 4 years ago, I regret the relationship we could have had but could not because of our inability to agree around certain issues such as education or the role of women in his culture. Unfortunately, we sometimes have to make decisions that feel wrong but are right! Good luck to you! Delphine

Delphine Criscenzo

Sis Rabi, i can imagine you battling with reality of the role of a father, dictates of culture and desires of your own heart. I am so humbled by the wisdom that you had on dealing with the stumbling block, but carefully following your heart. Growing up in a family where boy education was more important and girls valued in the form of pride wealth......i could do a similar thing if an opportunity arose.

This is a wonderful lesson for many girls in similar circumstances--a lesson of taking your space and exercising wisdom so as to achieve what your heart tells you...the right thing for you ! Wishing you well in your studies and life. Regards

EK Chemorion

Rabia- I do not presume to know what you went through, and the courage you had and have to live such a life. You are an example of making choices most beneficial for you, no matter the pain or sacrifice.

You will change your world!

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle facebook.com/caligalmichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

Dear Rabi, I can understand your feelings, anways dear just do not worry because certain things happen for some reasons. Dear Just do not give up, and I hope you will attain that you have aimed.. Best of Luch! Aaliya, Pakistan

Dear Rabia,

I just want to thank you for sharing this amazing and touching story of your life with all of us. The boldness you have showed through those few lines of your story, i am sure, will motive many other women like us to share our own similar brave and challenging stories with other. I don't know about other but i am inspired for sure. Wish you all the best in the future journey of your life. I am sure the courage that you have showed and hold on to so far will defiantly lead you to your awaited destination.

Love, Roksana.

What courage you have to continue to pursue your dreams despite the lack of support from your father. Your perseverance will serve you well, and I have no doubt amazing opportunities lie ahead for you.

Hi Rabia,

Although you carry the weight of not telling your father, it is important that you follow the path that is going to bring you happiness. The only person who can dictate that is you, so keep pursuing your goals and dreams. Keep looking inside for the love and motivation, and the outside world, including your father, will embrace you the way you need it to.

Best, Amir


Your words show that you are wise and kind as you pioneer this new path for yourself and your Afghani sisters. I can appreciate your inner conflict about not telling your father of your plans, yet sometimes, I believe it is necessary in order to help others see beyond their own point of view and cultural biases. By how happy he was to see you, it is obvious that he loves you very much, and that is very wonderful. I feel that he must be very proud of you even if he cannot say so yet.

Shine on! You are an inspiration.

You are as BOLD as a tigress, dear Rabia! Im so amazed to see you taking this giant decision all by yourself. You did Good, there's just no doubt on that. God always forgives our lies and dilemmas when it's for right decisions. Im proud of you. You truly are an inspiration to us all. :)