Poem: “Afghan Women Rising”

Afghan Women Rising

By Sunbul Kamily.

It’s been centuries that women are being killed just for wanting to learn, read and for seeking freedom. Girls are born as women in Afghanistan. Since we are children, our voices are muted and they say that we have no rights. From the first breath we take to the last breath of our life, everything is decided for us.

They decide our education, our clothing, who we marry and more…
We cannot show our face; We must cover it.

I’m an Afghan girl masked and muted, but I’ll speak; I will not be silenced.
We are Afghan Women, and We know from history that it hasn’t always been this way.
There’s no opening for our mouth to talk because we are silenced, disenfranchised, beaten, cut, married as children, sold, and raped. When we seek freedom, we are burned; when we speak the truth, we are stoned.

When we go to school, we are bombed, poisoned, or shot.
Don’t tell me it simply has always been that way, so I don’t believe in your resignation.
I refused ignorance a long time ago.
Don’t tell me that you are my side; your silence has already spoken for you.
Do not tell me the blame lies in my religion, in my culture, or in my traditions.

I have not forgotten my vow.
Change is coming…
I will read, I will learn, I will study, and I will return to school.
I dare you to tell me it’s a waste of time.
If you try to stop me, I will just try harder. If you shut my mouth, I will speak with my art.
Put me in a pit, and I will climb out.
If you kill me, there will be other girls who will rise up and do the same and they will take my place.

I will find a way to endure, to prevail. The future of man lies in me, and this is the future I see.
I am the beginning of a different story in Afghanistan. In the future, everyone explains how women withstood the odds against them.

Oh yes, perhaps it will only be whispered at first, but just watch; it will grow into a roar, an inexhaustible voice that will usher in a brighter future.
Do you doubt me? Do you doubt women in Afghanistan?
İf you look into my eyes you will see the willpower.


Author. Sunbul Kamily is an Afghan artist, writer, and poet. She writes poems and enjoys photography and art. A passion is producing graffiti to support Women in Afghanistan. “Afghan Women Rising” image by the author.