Lost Dreams of an Afghan Female Student

Almost two months have passed since Kabul fell to the Taliban. Every moment that has passed since then, as my mother puts it, ‘was as long as a hundred dark years’. The days we spend under the Taliban are terrible and painful. Human beings experience death once, but I die every day. My life is gloomy and ruined, so much so that I have no sleep or food as usual. I just walk like the walking dead, and these days I may even lose my ability to think. I just see nightmares and I keep reviewing them repeatedly in my mind.

Sometimes I tell myself: Fawzia, you were a third-year student of psychology, why are you so weak? Why not at least do something for yourself? Why are you so frustrated and helpless? And hundreds of other questions to which I have no answer.

I stay up all night. I stare at the sky, and I tell myself, even the stars in the sky and everything beautiful in this world is moving away from me. I can no longer recognize the beauties.

I am 22 years old. Exactly 20 years ago, the Taliban captured Kabul for the first time. I was two years old at the time and did not understand anything about the horrors that were going on in this world. The only thing that bothered me was maybe the story of the scarcity of food supplies for my family and the cold that my mother had told me about. At that time, our family was moving from one village to another without shelter. I did not understand anything about that vulnerable life. Now, however, I am not a child whose needs and priorities are access to hot food and clothing.

I went to school for the last twenty years, with all the problems that particularly hindered women. I spent 12 years in school and successfully passed the entrance exam, getting admitted to the university. During my studies, I worked. I used to prepare storybooks for children in Kabul. I had a good life experience with the children, we sang, and we played children’s games freely in the streets of Kabul. I thought that in the next 20 years, these children should become useful and mature members of our society.

I miss those days. The nightmares are due to the fear that I feel with my bone marrow. I fear for myself and those kids.

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Fawzia Sultani’s Story, Hasht-e Subh Persian[/box]

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