From across Asia, Sambridhi shares a supportive, resilient message with her Afghan sisters.
“I want you to be stronger than the fear that surrounds you and keeps you awake at night. I want you to know there is a bigger world, and it stands in solidarity with you.”
To the Women of Afghanistan,
You are brave. I say this not to pour words of sympathy, but as genuine heartfelt respect for your resiliency over the years, and especially right now. I know everything must seem like a pitch-black hole around you. You may or may not feel there is hope at all. It’s heartbreaking when the system fails you and what you've worked toward. Hopes turn into despair in just a matter of seconds.
I want to tell you, dear sisters, don't give up on even the faintest ray of faith that's left in you. Do not give up on yourselves or what you and older generations of Afghan women have worked for all these years. Remember, it’s not your fault. You don't have to be ashamed of a history that you didn't agree or contribute to.
It’s the government, the people you trusted, who failed you miserably. They are the ones who should put their heads down, not you. You have done your part. Hold your head high and stand strong like you always have. Stand strong because you have all been pioneers of a beautiful story of courage and resilience in a place of havoc and terror. Just know you have served as an example of what a strong woman is and can be.
I say this based on my personal experience, which I am fully aware is nothing – I repeat nothing, compared to the agony you’re experiencing. I have seen the darkness, too. I have been through phases in life where despair and unfortunate events took a lot from me. There were times when every door seemed to have shut on my face. “Light at the end of the tunnel” seemed like a fairytale concept too hard to believe.
Yet, I am still here. I am here, and that's all that matters because often when you feel close to losing a battle you fought religiously, you tend to come out even stronger. You will, too. Have faith that this shall pass like it always has.
To all Afghan women fighting their own battles amid the nightmare facing Afghanistan: I want you to not give up on your colorful dreams. I want you to be stronger than the fear that surrounds you and keeps you awake at night. I want you to know there is a bigger world, and it stands in solidarity with you. I know I stand with you, even though I am miles away. I know others just like me are thinking of you, praying for you, and working to help you.
Do not let the darkness around you swallow your light. Do not give up on yourselves, me, and everyone who believes in your power.
I pray for more strength and power for you. I pray you get to see the sun soon. I pray that all the effort you have put into building the blocks of freedom for generations of Afghan women over the years does not go down the drain – that you finally get to breathe air filled with only love and light.
To the women of Afghanistan, I want to tell you so many things, hold your hand, and let you know how in awe I am of your courage. I want to tell you you aren't alone in your battles and that the world is with you, in spirit, and as allies.
Right now, I can only hope you read this letter and that it provides you even a little comfort to help you through these times. I hope you make history like you always have. May you come out victorious.
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