Writer: Zahra Tarshi
I understood correctly that day. August 15 was the last working day of the Khane Khorshid, and I have to go to kindergarten tomorrow to pack my things and equipment. Zoha and Mehrsa, who have been like prisoners at home all these days, are very happy that they will go to kindergarten with me tomorrow and play. The Khane Khorshid was for me like a child that I raised with all my being. Just like a child, I took care of it so that it would grow step by step and be able to stand on its feet. I am not a weak woman. I have failed many times in my life.
I failed many times but start again. I learned from all my failures and I always owed the successes of my life to my mistakes. I’m not afraid to make mistakes. After all my failures, I re-checked my mistakes one by one, accepted them, and tried to learn from each one. But this time, in the biggest failure of my life, I have no guilt other than being a woman. Except being Afghan. Where am I in this failure? Many times in my life I had reached zero and started again. But this time I’m not even at zero. Below zero! Very low to zero. I do not even have a starting point. During all this time, I tried to leave the country, but I could not. I do not even have a way to escape. Now, as a woman with that long list of wishes, my only dream is to get to a position where I can take the hand of Zoha and Mehrsa in one afternoon and go to the park. Let them play in their childhood world and I will sit on the park bench and watch their happiness. only this! And life without hope means gradual death.
I am not even able to tell this to the members of the Khorshid Orphanage. I have not yet paid their monthly salaries. They are all from the poor class of the country and I know what problems they are struggling with these days. I do not dare to face them. I’m ashamed of not being able to do anything. Until a few days ago, all public and private banks were closed, but now personal account holders are allowed to withdraw only $ 200 a week, but no orders have been issued for corporate accounts and employees of corporations and companies have not yet been able to receive their monthly salary. All official offices, including the passport office, are inactive.
They had no plans for the government at all, and it seems that, as is clear from what they said, they did not think it would be so easy to sell the country to them for free. Less than a month later, they have just introduced their cabinet.
There is not a single woman in this cabinet. There is not a single person in the cabinet other than Taliban members. The majority of the members of this cabinet are on the global black list and even to this day, when they have been introduced as ministers, they do not show their faces, and there are still multimillion-dollar rewards for capturing the majority of them. The Ministry of Women Affairs has also been abolished. Instead, they have created a ministry called Preaching and Guidance, to teach people how to think, how to behave, and even how to dress, and anyone who violates the laws of that ministry should be punished. The Ministry of Higher Education has ordered the holding of classes in universities, and in all classes, a religious curtain must be installed between male and female students, and a male professor has no right to teach female students, provided that the person is old and pious, and I still do not understand how they can measure the piety of people with a few meters of cloth and a few centimeters of beard? Can anyone other than God measure and judge the piety of people?
My God! Do you see it too? Do you see and remain silent? What other hope can there be in this land? I am a woman who is the mother of two daughters and I do not even dare to send them to school anymore. Me a woman with high aspirations, and a strong commitment became a prisoner in the corner of the house who has no dreams but to escape. I do not know what will happen after that, but if I stay here, I know very well that I will die little by little every day, and I feel guilty towards Zoha and Mehrsa without being guilty. I am responsible for them today and tomorrow! But it is the beginning of a tragedy.
We may not reach the beginning of the catastrophe yet. I’m afraid, even of the sound of my breath. The night that they welcomed their leader’s entrance to Kabul by firing, fear crept into my body. We were sitting in the hallway of the apartment and Zoha and Mehrsa were asking what is this voice mother? What is this sound? And God, I had no answer. God, I do not know the law of the highest, but I do not know what to say to a seven- and four-year-old child of war, killing, shedding innocent blood in the lowest. God, do you have a child? Do you sometimes feel guilty in front of your children without any guilt? God! I wish you were a mother too.
To be continued…
Translated by; Jahan Raha