Noor  ·  Afghanistan


Diary of An Afghan Woman

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July 18, 2022

The war situation is ruining everything. I am afraid, but what should be done? But it happened, we can’t fix something, we have to try harder, increase our hope and move forward, we have to think that beautiful things are always in our lives. We are strong and can overcome any bad situation.

I am very happy here with the kindest uncle in the world, he always gave me hope and supported me. Hearing the voice of my mother and sisters every day from behind the phone, seeing beautiful nature, and good weather makes me happy...Yes, it has always been like this.;)

April 2, 2022

The situation is not so good here.

I’m close to Ukraine and the war here reminds me of Afghanistan, sometimes the same explosions are heard there.

Sometimes I think about the people there, how they gave up everything and were forced to give up all their dreams and their future, exactly what happened to the Afghans.

It is painful.

What is the solution? There is nothing we can do, I have to keep going here, I can only pray for the war to end.

But I’m fine, I’m continuing my lessons, I hope everything goes well.

October 10, 2021

This city is close to Ukraine. It is a beautiful city.🌆 I do not go out much, but sometimes I go for a walk and shop. It is safe, but caution should be exercised.❗️In fact, my lessons are very difficult, I do not have much time to go out.😥

The air here gets colder every day but it is warm inside the room.

You’re right, I still feel weird until I get used to it. Every day that passes I try to cry less and learn more.

I miss Afghan food very much.🥺 I have not eaten properly since the day I came, we do not have cooking utensils.

My Uncle comes here on Friday and brings things.🙂

Today I took some photos of myself, I sent them to my friend ✨, she knows that I wanted to be a model since I was a child.

He told me that he was talking to his friend in Paris and that she was very hopeful! It would be wonderful for me to enter the fashion world if it were possible.😃 (It is a beautiful possibility.) 😉

I am very worried about my family

I have arrived in Russia - October 4, 2021

Yes, I have arrived in Russia, and two days ago I came from Moscow to the city where my university is. Tomorrow my classes will start at the university. The classes are very difficult. I do not have enough time to talk to my family and friends.
I must say that I have many problems!

I miss my family very much and I am worried about them.

It is very expensive here and there are very few facilities available at the moment. To this day, my uncle has helped me to survive. But I have to endure, I have to stay strong.

I can rarely contact my mother, and tears well up in my eyes when I hear her voice. I must say I experience the worst feeling.

They try very hard to cheer me up, in fact, I do not tell my family about the problems I am experiencing because I know they are worried about me. But it’s hard for me.

I know leaving home is always difficult early on. I have to stay strong and get through it. I want to study a lot to get through the hard part. I can not work - only due to my uncle’s help is it possible for me to continue. In fact, maybe if it were not for him I could never have come here!

So I have to try.

We Danced - September 16, 2021

I went to Kabul airport at 8 am today, domestic flights are underway!

I was alone, my mother was very worried, she was always in touch with me and just told me to take care of myself!

She was afraid that someone from our relatives would see me and inform my father. I tried to calm her down and make sure she was fine, I told her not to worry, I understand everything!

I was wearing long clothes, I had glasses and a mask, it was not possible for anyone to recognize me. In short, with all the stress, I got out of there and got home. I saw my mother first, I can not describe how good I felt when I hugged her.

I saw my grandmother, I think only she had changed, I felt that she was weaker, I was upset!😞

I saw my sisters, we talked a lot and I told them about the trip.
Baran went home, but we spent more time with Hasti, we danced. 💃🏻😝😁

When I was away from them, I realized their value more and realized that we should spend this little time we have together happily! We must strive to maintain happiness and be strong.😊🌷

In Kabul 🌦 it was very beautiful. We had a lot of fun with the family we were with, they gave us a lot of morale and tried to make us happy. They were extremely kind.

We went to an area called Qargha, it was very beautiful!🌊🍀

There were a lot of Taliban in Kabul, so we did not go out that much.

But the nights were hard for me, I had no sleep in my eyes, I thought. I saw my family photos on my cell phone, I talked to them! I was constantly thinking about them.

Painting by Elizabeth Benson Thayer

When I came to my hometown - on the way - I saw the whole city. I saw my school where I have many fond memories! After a long time! All those memories swirled in my mind again! I was happy. But when I saw the Taliban near those places, everything changed, I said to myself, “No, this no longer belongs to us.“
I talked to my mother and I feel more confident that after I leave, she will remain strong, she will not give up ..!
I do not know, but I may leave here again next week.
I do not know if I will reach my destination or not, but I will try.
I hope everything goes well, and these stresses end.

I Feel I Will Succeed - September 13, 2021

Yes, today I succeeded, I took the first step of the long and dreamy journey of my life and I succeeded.

I feel good! 😊

I have been here for several days, I struggled with all the concerns and problems, originally the day before we were supposed to go to get a visa, but it was canceled again, my whole family was upset.

I received interesting messages 📝, one of which was from one of my loved ones who wrote to me: Wait again 😢 I wish the visa would not be canceled.

Realizing that he was very worried, I wrote to her: We hope, ✨ we are waiting and the problems will be solved soon.🌈🎋

She wrote again: “I felt you like a mountain”!
She wondered why I was not worried.

In short, everyone wanted to give me some hope and support.
But I think this hope is rooted in me, I became stronger and I feel I will succeed!

I finally realized that they were going to give me a visa today, got ready, and left.

Everything was solved well.

I am glad!

But the flight is still unknown. I have to try other ways. I have to go home and deal with the problems.
I feel that my mother is depressed and anxious 🍂, I have to talk to her..💫

But today I felt that I will face many problems in this way, but the bigger the problems, the stronger I become!
It’s weird for me, I feel like I’m a few years older.🤷🏻‍♀️😃
I experienced and learned many things here.
I saw a lot of people.

Now I want more than ever to reach that bright future sooner, to help all those who had no hope like me.🌌🦋
I want to revive that dead hope in them.✨

I have a long way to go, I have to stay strong and keep going..!

I always thank God that family and friends (like you) have put kindness beside me, you are the strength of my heart.🙏🏻💞🌹

September 9, 2021

In Kabul

I came to Kabul to get a visa.

I miss everyone so much, most of all my mother! I have never been so far from her.🥺

I came here very worried. I am worried about my family because my father still does not know.😣
Last week, he threatened to take my sister, Hasti, and hand over my mother to the Taliban. I do not know where he got the news that I wanted to go.

If news comes that I have come here, a terrible fate awaits my family. I’m very worried … I do not feel well.

But I had to come here, I have to keep fighting and try to be saved.

I ask you to help them, to give them morale so that they do not give up…
My internet does not work much here, so forgive me if I answer late.🙏🏻

September 5, 2021

I love painting very much. As a child, I always dreamed of being a model or a designer. I have a great interest in fashion. But everything changed, I could not follow my interest.

I used to paint at school, a friend of mine helped me, but when school was over I could no longer communicate with her. Design is an interesting and very difficult art, my paintings are not at that level yet, so I am not comfortable sharing them.

If I could go to painting school, I would definitely continue learning, but in such circumstances it is impossible.

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Tulips are native to Afghanistan and are considered their national flower. Despite not being comfortable in sharing her art, Noor drew this painting of tulips to share with you, one tulip for each of the women in her family still in Afghanistan...herself and her two sisters, her mother, and her grandmother.

I like shopping very much. My sister and I used to go to the mall. It was very beautiful there, but I have not seen it since the Taliban came. If I go out, I have to wear very annoying clothes so that only my two eyes can be seen. I’m not comfortable in that dress at all, so I think I might never see the outside.

I haven’t been out for a long time, I haven’t seen my friends. Most of the time the internet does not work here, so I am not in touch with them by phone, like before. I heard that my best and dearest friend is married. I still have not succeeded in congratulating her… I do not feel well.

Now, my only hobby is reading a book, I am reading a very interesting book by (Elif Shafak) called The Forty Rules of Love. He wrote the story of himself and my favorite poet, (Maulana). I like his poems very much.🍀♥️

These days are very difficult, I feel tired and depressed because I am tired of doing repetitive tasks.

Our lives have changed a lot, the days are very boring and the nights are scary. I do not know who is trying to intimidate and harass us at night, throwing stones at the house.
But I still hope ✨

I feel that everything will be fine, I am trying to cheer up my sisters and mother. We have faced many problems in the past, but I think this time is different.

Today my grandmother asked me to make lunch for her, I cooked rice for her, she always says your cooking is very good.🙈😁

- Noor

September 2, 2021

My name is Noor, I am 19 years old and I am from Afghanistan. This year I planned to start studying medicine - to become a dentist. But life gave us severe drama instead.

We are a small family of 3 women: I live alone with my mother and younger sisters. My mother and father are separated because my father was a cruel and ruthless man. He did not pay attention to the rights of women and children. He always tortured my mother. Once, he so severely broke her arm, that she was not been able to move it properly since. IT WAS PURE VIOLENCE!

The life of women in Afghanistan - a world of men - is very difficult.

Nobody is interested in our opinion or our hopes. Only very strong personalities can survive. Our mother is that kind of a person, she is a strong and brave woman.

My sisters and I grew up on my mother’s teacher’s salary and had a relatively difficult life. My mother has to work hard so that we can have a calm life and a good education. In addition to her work as a school teacher, she teaches children at home to earn some more money. My mother always protected us from father’s cruelty. She argued with him and did not allow him to take us back into his house, which he strongly insisted on, and which he is once again trying to do! He wanted and is still wanting to force us to marry somebody from his circle of friends and collect money from the groom’s family. He would sell us like things on the market.

As for us, we always wanted to live in a safe place in peace. Over the last few years we managed to build our small, peaceful, and happy world. I have always wanted to study and get a good education, to be independent, and build my own life. But my relatives tried to force me to get married against my will. Only after much opposition and help from my mother did I manage to continue my education. I am very fond of science and math.

My favorite subjects are chemistry and biology. I want to study medicine. I was preparing for university courses and was to begin this academic year, but now, I am not allowed to continue. I also love painting. I want to bring people hope for health, beauty, and peace.

Self-development is a difficult task in Afghanistan but I have tried as much as I can.

Reading is also one of my hobbies. I also helped our neighbors’ girls with science and math lessons – I needed to work to help my mother because her salary was very low. My sister Hasti is younger than me, she studies in the 9th grade and she is 14. She is a creative and dignified girl. She also likes science and in the future wants to be a doctor and help people. In her spare time, she is fond of reading and making interesting handicrafts. She is also a creative cook. My sister and I have many hopes and dreams, we are both hard-working, love to study, and want to work. We want to be independent - real professionals in our future life. We want our mother to stop crying and worrying about our lives. We want her to live in peace and happiness without violence or fear.

But, with the Taliban’s arrival, we turned from human beings to things (women for Taliban are soulless things). We can say that this is the end of our plans, and possibly our lives.

Life is very difficult for women in Afghan society. We have faced many challenges that culminated with the arrival of the Taliban. We do not want to experience the hardships of the past.

Now we cannot leave our house. It is dangerous to go to the market to buy food, and our mother cannot work. We no longer have any source of income, no way to live. We don’t know what will happen to us, or how we will survive. With the arrival of the Taliban regime, we are not protected by law anymore, we lost our rights, we are afraid father will find us, kill my mother and take me and my sister with him and force us to marry his friends.

- Noor

Edited by Nicole Taylor

Illustration by Sarah Jane Dayley

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