In search of the Spring of Happiness

Zainab recounts how her ordinary days as a high-school student came to an end, when the Taliban took over her country.
Afghanistan, Southern Asia

Story by Zainab Ghafori. Edited by Mikael Ahrari
Published on July 22, 2022. Reading time: 7 minutes



It is the life of the ocean that does not know about the next waves, but it's destiny to choose what those waves give us and what they steal ...

In the name of the God who created the world.

Hello, I am an Afghan girl who is a victim of a world of proxy wars.  Zainab Ghafori is my name, the daughter of Kabul from the beautiful land of Afghanistan. 

I was born on March 4, 2005 and spend my little world with my father, mother, four sisters and five brothers. My year of birth coincides with the first years of democracy and apparently the end of the civil war in Afghanistan. I am a girl who loves the rain and the colourful nature, the beauty and excitement of the world!

Due to my great interest in studying, I started school with my sister Ayesha at the age of 5. From childhood until now, we always went to school together, and with each other's help, we passed all the courses that we took, like two best friends. Our teachers liked us a lot, and I had Ayesha helping me. I thank God for having such a sister. We wanted to become doctors together in the future and be a source of service to our countrymen, but with the arrival of the Taliban, all our hopes and dreams were destroyed.

After passing an exam, we entered Womanity Foundation [1] and started an English course. A year later, we started learning computer literacy with English language training. It was a fun place because only a small number of girls in our society could study in a female environment at no cost. The program was a three-year training for girls. The first year was for English language, the second year for computer literacy and the third year for coding (web development).

After these three years and getting the certificates, we were included in a web development task at the Womanity Foundation. I was very happy at the beginning of the third year because I could learn my favourite thing, which is creating a website.

It was at the start of the  last year of my school when whispers of the Taliban occupation of the provinces were heard in every corner of the country.

 

Days passed and the situation in my homeland deteriorated day by day, and the news of the arrival of the Taliban had spread everywhere. We witnessed the plight of our compatriots in the provinces. Unimaginable. It was at the start of the last year of my school when whispers of the Taliban occupation of the provinces were heard in every corner of the country. Little by little, we put our wishes in the sad boxes of our mothers, who, like us, were victims of the cold world politics. At that time, there was only struggle and no hope for the future. Twenty years later, this fate is repeated. My lips could not bear the false laughter, and my eyes could not pretend to be good. 

The exams came in the middle of our year, one after the other until at the last exam, news of the fall of all provinces under the Taliban was heard. Fear and panic pervaded everyone, especially the brave women and girls of my homeland who faced many difficulties and hardships but still fought stronger than before. The dark day for the Afghan people had finally arrived.

On August 15, 1400 [Islamic calendar, August 6, 2021], the Taliban reached the gates of Kabul, and people were terrified and took refuge in their homes for fear of losing their lives. I miss the days I was in school and studying with my friends. And how late did we realize that that was the life we had always wished for.

With the arrival of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan became silent, silenced, as if they were in deep sorrow.

 

With the arrival of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan became silent, as if they were in deep sorrow. Sometimes every person's story is the same. Food shortages, lack of work, and unpaid salaries to employees are among the problems faced by all people, including my family. My older brother has worked in the Ministry of Finance since the republic, but he has not been paid his salary for one year. And my father, who thought he would receive a pension because he is an official, did not get it.  So my sister and I could not enter university and continue our education. 

I was trying to cope with this big change and get used to it, but the thought of sitting at home and being away from school and education had created a great sadness in my heart, and I was constantly thinking about how our future would look like. Will the Taliban allow girls to study? Will Afghanistan go back to what it was before again? Questions for which my classmates and I have not yet found a definite answer.

After several months, the news came that we could work online for six months at Rumie organization [2]. It was a green light to start again and a small joy in our sad hearts. A month has passed, and we continue our work online. I have accepted that life is not fair and beautiful for everyone. Many stand on the red line of life. But do you know what the way out is? Be patient! Patience - is bitter medicine that cures many sufferings and calamities! My only wish is to study in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. I still want to be a successful doctor in the future. God forbid if this wish is impossible. 

We are the tall cedars that remain steadfast with every wind, and we fight for our rights at the cost of our blood. Hopefully, my compatriots will see a happy life and witness a peaceful Afghanistan away from death and destruction.


[1] Their project in Afghanistan teaches girls and women coding and computer literacy in order to prepare them for careers in tech.

[2] Rumie is a Canadian registered NGO, providing free innovative & authentic learning for everyone with a mobile device, from Afghanistan to Vanuatu.


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Zainab Ghafori

Zainab Ghafori

I am Zainab Gharofi from Kabul, Afghanistan. I graduated from high school and now volunteer at Rumie organization. 

Topic: Liberation




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