Happiness that hurts

Happiness that hurts

The story of an Afghan girl who fled her home country to go to school

Protesters take part in a march and rally in support of Afghan women’s rights in London, Britain, November 27, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville

For a teenager moving from her family and friends is very tough. It’s a very hard experience going away from loved ones.
On the 15th of August 2021, the Taliban came to Kabul and took over the government. I was forced to leave my homeland and my family so that I could still have an education.

The worst part was arriving at the airport, where I had to go through the security gate. We were sitting in the scorching sun, and waiting. There were a lot of people: doctors, government workers, teachers, all hoping to escape from the country. The Taliban wouldn’t let people pass the gate and hit men, boys, and sometimes women.

When onboarded, we all flew to the Qatar airport with military aircraft. It was a new experience for me to fly in a military plane. Never in my lifetime, I thought I would have left my country like this. Once arrived there, we stood in a camp with other thousand of people. Living conditions were inhumane: there wasn’t a toilet or a bed to sleep in and not enough food for everyone.

Though, this painful story has a happy, yet sour ending: on the one hand I’m very lucky to go to school and study without worrying, but on the other hand, I am sad; a million girls younger and older than me, as well as my sisters and my cousin, cannot go to school. They don’t have the right to go to school, or to achieve their dreams to become pilots, doctors, astronauts, or artists.
Every day I wake up and pray that maybe one day my sisters can wear their uniforms, pack their bags, and get ready to go to school again.

More than one year and a half have passed and not a single day has passed without me feeling bad. I am miserable because my sisters can’t enjoy school time and can’t go outside of their homes. It has been more than one year and a half after the Taliban banned girls from attending school and yet nothing has changed.

Every time I talk to my mom I ask her about my friends since I do not have the courage to speak with them and let them know how I spend my day and have fun in school.
My Mom always tells me how unhappy they are; she tells me about how much they have changed. The girls who used to be always sunny and tried to cheer everyone up in school have now become the quietest girls and lost hope about their future.

I want people in power to imagine themselves in the same conditions my friends are in right now.

I’m sharing my story because it is the only way I can raise my peers’ voices. I’d like you to imagine your life without access to education.
I wonder how can people in power remain silent seeing millions of girls in Afghanistan out of school.
Finally, I ask everyone to end the chains of silence and fight for the rights of those brilliant Afghan girls.

About the author