Afghan Girl on the way of following her dreams

15th of August 2021 was the last day of school. And Ayesha would never return to school. Here she tells us how her normal life turned upside down after Taliban invaded Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, Southern Asia

Story by Ayesha Ghafori. Edited by Izzy Baumann
Published on September 12, 2022. Reading time: 5 minutes

This story is also available in it



Prologue

High school was both the best school years and the worst. The best, because during tenth and eleventh grade I made a lot of progress academically. 

However, when I entered eleventh grade, the COVID-19 disease spread and reached Afghanistan. I heard that the death toll in Afghanistan was not as high as it was in other countries of the world. Perhaps this is because the people of my country are much stronger and witnessed events that are more terrible than the virus. Eventually the COVID-19 situation became less severe, and I was happy because I could go back to school. Little did I know that after a while I would see worse than this disease. 

I was about to take my 12th grade midterm exams when there were talks of a dangerous attack in the provinces by the Taliban group. I wish we could have foreseen this and prevented the Taliban from moving forward. I thought that after a few days the war would end and we would spend our days calmly. We never imagined that they could take whole provinces not to speak the center of our country - Kabul. I had forgotten that ‘peace’ is an alien word to us. Slowly but surely, the Taliban took over the provinces of Afghanistan, one after another. 

My last day at school

15th of August 2021 was the last day of our exams and I was happy because I passed my exams very well. We assembled in the school yard with our classmates before we had our days off, as was usual after midterm exams. Although it was only halfway through the school year, this was our last day at school. 

The Taliban were advancing and gaining control over most parts of Afghanistan. During the last day of school, seven provinces of Afghanistan were still under the control of the government. But within a few hours, the Taliban took over these provinces. Then, the Taliban also entered Kabul. We were deeply frightened. The control of the Afghan nation was completely in the hands of the Taliban. 

News broke that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who had been elected by the vote of the people, had left the Afghan people alone and fled with his group with large sums of money. The armor of hope that remained in the hearts of the people was now completely destroyed.

After that, we could not go to school. I could not finish twelfth grade. We also could not continue our lessons online because the government, which was now in the hands of the Taliban, did not allow teachers and students to continue school lessons. 

After a while, it was announced the schools were to be reopened, and girls returned, full of hope. Upon arrival, they were devastated to learn that the schools were now only open for the boys. The girls arrived back to their homes with broken hearts and tears on their faces.  I was very disappointed that I could not continue my lessons. How would I achieve my dreams now? Worse than everything else however, is the poverty and unemployment that is now rampant in my country. How can people who do not have bread to eat think about studying and other things? 

How do I not give up hope in this situation? I believe that one day the Taliban will leave our homeland. As they do not allow girls and women to study and work, this system and their control will not last long. One day, they will leave, and that will be the day when we young people will contribute to the progress of our homeland with our knowledge. So I believe that we should always fight for our goals and should not give up.      

Humans who are confronted with difficulties are stronger than those who have not, and I believe that the women of my country are the strongest women in the world. Why? Because no ordinary human being can go through the conditions and problems they have gone through, unless they are an Afghan woman. I hope these dark days disappear and happiness and progress will once again show their faces in my homeland. My dream has always been to develop myself and help my people. I aim to find and create work for my people, especially the women of my country. I will never give up on this goal! 

Postscript

I wish our living conditions were better than this so that I could write this story with joy and bring better news with my words.


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Ayesha Ghafori

Ayesha Ghafori

I am Ayesha and I am 17 years old. I was born and raised in a small city called Kabul in Afghanistan. My biggest wish is to continue my education abroad and become a prosperous person. I’ve had the same dreams since childhood: to become successful in life, to be a role model for my peers, and to make my family and community proud.  I want to achieve my goals through my own power and not rely on someone else making my dreams come true.

Topic: Liberation



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