Targeted terrorist attacks have left countless victims among Hazara people over the years. Especially in the last few years, terrorist groups have concentrated their attacks on educational centers in the west of Kabul. Even though the Taliban group has been involved in such attacks, after their takeover and the ethnic dominance, suicide attacks on Hazara people in the west of Kabul have increased.
Closing the gates of schools and imposing restrictions on women and girls’ education could not create obstacles for girls seeking knowledge. On the contrary, the girls became more diligent and looked for alternative ways to educate and defend their rights, and these days we are witnessing a huge wave of brave girls who stand up to the armed Taliban group and raise their voices to defend their rights to education and all their achievements.
Undoubtedly, the suicide attack on the Kaj educational center and other targeted attacks on schools are linked to the Taliban and other terrorist groups. Because this group shamelessly appreciates their suicide bombers and says; No group in history has done this as well as we have. It is while these attacks killed nearly 700 male and female students in the last two years, and the victims of these attacks were mostly students and youths.
The attack on the Kaj educational center was one of the deadliest attacks, which left more than 150 dead and injured, along with the attacks that took place on the Sayed al-Shohada school, Abdul Rahim Shahid school, and the Mawod educational center. Most of the victims were girls who were preparing to participate in the public entrance exam.
Marziya and Hajar were cousins. They were killed in the terrorist attack on the Kaj educational center in the most brutal way.
One can feel the deep pain of a mother in Marziya’s mother’s words. She begins sadly “Hello; I am the mother of martyr Marziya.” She has lost her beloved daughter. She talks about her daughter Marziya, “Dear Marziya studied together with Hajar for twelve years, it’s been a year since she took the preparatory course. She was happy, she was very happy. She said, mother, two weeks left for my exam. I’m very tired, but after the exam, let me go on a trip.”
Marziya was happy to see herself close to one of her dreams (attending university and studying engineering) due to the upcoming entrance exam. Her mother talks about the virtues of a daughter that she no longer has. A mother who still does not believe that her daughter is no longer alive. “I will never forget Marziya, I thought of her every moment, when I need something, I call Marziya, but no one answers, I remember that she is not alive anymore.”
Her voice goes quieter, she starts again, there is a heavy sadness in her voice because of her daughter’s loss. She talks about Marziya’s behavior: “She always did good things, she was kind, she got angry soon but she calm down soon. She always said don’t think about the past, mother, the important thing is the present time, and don’t be sad. “Marziya’s grief will never be forgotten.”
Marziya and Hajar were born almost 19 years ago in “Qa’ala Shahadeh” of Kabul when it was thought that with the defeat of the Taliban group and the arrival of the republican system with the support of the international community, the country, which until then was getting redder every day with the blood of people, would change its color and become more beautiful. But this was a wrong consideration. During this time, the sound of explosions and the smell of people burning were things that all children grew up with.
Despite all, Marziya and Hajar grew up together with all the adversities in their lives and studied until the sixth grade in the “Homayoun Shahid” school and passed middle and high school in the “Chehel Dukhtaran” school. They were also studying English when they were studying eighth grade. But just when they were creating bigger dreams for themselves, both of them died.
Marziya and Hajar, who loved the field of engineering, liked to read novels in addition to playing with numbers and preparing for the entrance exam. In Marziya’s diary, it is written that one of her dreams is to see Elif Shafak, the Turkish-British writer who created the novel “The Nation of Love”, and Hajar starts reading the novel “The Nation of Love” one afternoon and she reads non-stop until nine o’clock the next morning and finishes the book.
After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan and ordered the closing of girls’ schools, as well as the suspension of the duties of female employees by this group, the first time Marziya got out of home, was to buy books. She wrote about that day in her diary: “After the Taliban takeover, I got out of home for the first time to go to the exhibition. The whole time I was out of the house, I felt a sense of fear and insecurity. The atmosphere of the city was scary. After buying the book “Elif Shafak”, my teacher and I returned home. Today I realized how much I like being in the library, I enjoyed looking at and reading books. Monday “
Both were girls for whom trying and learning had become a habit. Ansiya Mohammadi, Marziya’s sister, says that after the occupation of the Taliban, they were unmotivated for a while, and after they registered in the Kaj educational center to prepare for the entrance exam, they felt better again. My uncle used to tell Marziya that the Taliban don’t want her to take the exam, why are you preparing for the entrance exam? Marziya used to say, “I study for my heart.”
Marziya and Hajar were cousins, friends, and classmates, two proud pines, who lost their lives along with their other classmates. Girls who made big dreams together and worked hard to achieve them. The tireless girls who spent a whole year during the darkness that has cast a shadow over the girls with the occupation of the Taliban group tried to become “engineers”.
Ansiya says, “Marziya always said that I would like to become like teacher Najib, like teacher Modabber, so that people would respect me for what I am, for my kindness, for my humanity; “I don’t want anyone to respect me because of money and other things.”
Hajar and Marziya worked day and night to get a high score on the entrance exam and get a Turkish scholarship in the field of engineering. Unaware of what terrible dreams the dark thinkers of the time have seen for them, their classmates, and fellow human beings.
Parwana Mohammadi, Hajar’s sister, says about her that Hajar wrote in her diary, “There is no hope for survival in this country, every time I leave the house I am afraid and I have no hope of returning.”
Because of these fears and disappointments that plagued them every day, Hajar and Marziya tried harder than before to be able to study abroad. Hajar was very interested in playing the guitar; Traveling to Paris and walking in its nights; All these are the tender wishes of a girl who has been buried with herself and has created painful memories for their family.
Hajar’s mother looks firm and strong when she speaks. Of course, this is the characteristic of all Afghan Hazara women; All the women who have suffered for years bring their children into society in the best way and with the most humane thoughts. Humans like Hajar, Marziya, Vahidah, Narges, Asad, and all the children who were given to the arms of death by the enemies of knowledge and wisdom.
Hajar’s mother says she sewed her own clothes to help the family’s economy, and together with Marziya, they bought shared books so that they could buy more books. They belonged to the deprived class of society, whose fathers did not spare any effort to reach their dreams and fought all the problems of life so that their children would have a better destiny.
Marziya goes to the course in the morning as usual, but the sound of the explosion is heard. The hands of the clock indicate an inauspicious time. Marziya’s sister Ansiya was still sleeping when her cell phone rang. Marziya’s friend calls several times, and when Ansiya answers, the caller asks Marziya if she is home or not! But Marziya was not at home, she and Hajar had gone to the Kaj educational center early in the morning for the last sample exam of Kankor, but the last exam of her whole life was left unfinished and death came to them.
After the call from a friend who had asked about Marziya, Ansiya surfed on Facebook; Where the news of the death of students has been spread in a fraction of a second. Ansiya hears about the explosion in Kaj educational center. She calls Marziya and Hajar, but their phones were switched off. She tells her mother about the explosion, she goes to Hajar’s house, and with Hajar’s sister Parwana, they move to the course to bring home Hajar and Marziya, who they thought was alive.
Ansiya says, that moment “We were praying that they were not injured or killed. When we arrived at course alley, we did not see Hajar and Marziya, and they did not allow us to go to the course and said that we should go to the hospitals, they might have been injured. »
Ansiya and Parwana thought that they had returned home. When they make sure that they haven’t reached home yet and their cell phones are still off, they search for them among the wounded in the hospitals with fear and compulsion. They look at the wounded at Watan Hospital and Sehat Watan Hospital, but they cannot find Marziya and Hajar.
They call home again if they have gone home! But the lifeless body can not go home, they should search the morgues so that they may find their torn bodies.
Ansiya and Parwana go to Mohammad Ali Jinnah hospital and there they see their uncle sitting on the floor and crying and pointing to the morgue with her hand. Ansiya was going to the morgue, But her father stops her, takes her hand, and says: “Don’t go, Marziya is no longer among us .” Ansiya sits in a corner and cries for her deceased sister. After an hour, they take Marziya’s body home, but Ansiya still doesn’t believe that Marziya was killed: “When they brought the body home, I made sure that is Marziya.”
But there is still no news about Hajar. Ansiya sees her uncle’s wife crying. In addition to her own grief, she goes to her uncle’s wife who had no news about her daughter Hajar yet. She says to her uncle’s wife, “Don’t cry, maybe she is injured, she must have been injured, but she hasn’t been found yet.”
Time passes slowly and it is noon. Although Hajar’s father has visited all the hospitals where the injured and the dead have been transferred, he still hasn’t found his daughter, he goes to forensic medicine. There, he comes across the body of a girl whose half skull is missing and is not recognized, he says to himself, no, this is not Hajar. But his paternal sense, the feeling that made his heart tremble, makes his search more, with the doubt that is still in his heart and he can’t get away from the body and he can’t admit to himself that this body is not Hajar’s, he calls Parwana for more signs. Parwana says; Hajar was wearing a spotted red dress and blue jeans, when her father sees the signs, that paternal feeling increased and the signs bring the body closer to the missing Hajar. But he still can’t accept that she is Hajar, he sees her shoes, socks, and even her earrings and asks more from Parwana.
When all the signs confirm that the body belongs to Hajar, there is no way to refuse and the head of the forensic morgue says; this is your daughter’s body you should take home.
Hajar’s father is now standing next to the corpse of a girl whose skull was disintegrated in the classroom, and her dreams are mixed with blood and smoke, smelling of darkness and death. Yes, this is the body of his daughter Hajar, the girl who wanted to become an engineer, travel to Paris and meet Elif Shafak, read the novel “The Nation of Love” and created a fantasy with all her words; But she faced a group that is alien to love and kindness, a group that mercilessly shed her blood and sent her dreams to the cemetery with her.
Now, Hajar and Marziya have been buried close to each other with all their books and dreams. This is a part of the pain that Kaj educational center has seen in itself. This is the end of the life of two Hazara girls in a land called Afghanistan, who were hoping to build their future and destiny. The end of Hajar and Marziya’s lives
Translated by: Ali Rezaei