Women voices from Afghanistan

7 Dec

Al Jazeera has reported on the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP), an English language blog which is written by women in the war-torn country. Given that women rights are seriously curtailed in Afghanistan, these writers have to write under conditions of anonymity and fear of personal safety.

According to the founder of the blog, an American novelist, Masha Hamilton, ‘We don’t just put anything up. It’s a dialogue and a communication. We want to help them express their stories, and their writing often becomes more personal as time goes on.’

Reading some of the entries, one is reminded of the plight of women in  Aghanistan. In the blog entry titled, Sitara, Roya (not her real name) documents the violence perpetuated against a girl who simply wants to go to school:

… That day that she [Sitara] got burned, it was her father who burned her, her father who killed her. He didn’t like Sitara or her mother. When he burned her, he forbid her to go to the hospital because there were male doctors there. The neighbors helped her and her mother to the hospital…

Or the poem by Freshta, her hopes for a more enlightened and better government. This is an excerpt:

Afghans suffers pain, trial, labor, grief, sorrow, tragedy.
Now the president needs to serve them
Serve for people, serve those who need

Serve for those who have lost their families, loved ones who live only in memory.
Serve for those who have lost their parents, who had dignity but are now called orphans.
Serve for orphans who hide their face with their hands and hear the slap of tongues when they say thanks.
Serve for orphans who watch other parents caress their children
Tears come from their eyes as thunder appears in the sky.
Tears of hopelessness, discouragement, depression.
Serve for people, serve for those who need

A project worth supporting.

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