I feel better when I sing, so every morning before I get up, I try to sing a song. It reminds me of the best part of my childhood.
As a child, I wasn’t allowed to play. My mother and father said to me: “You’re a girl. You must be shy and quiet, like a good girl.” I accepted that. I didn’t go out to play.
But I still remember hearing the girls who were sitting outside, holding hands and singing Afghan songs like “Qu Qu Qu, Baregi chinar…”(Eds note: song translated below.) I really liked this song. Though my brother would beat me if I went outside, I could hear their voices from behind the door.
In my mind, I recorded the sound of those girls. Whenever I got bored or felt alone, I imagined I was with them. It made me happy. Sometimes I dreamt that I was with those girls, playing, laughing, dancing, and running. But when I woke up, I saw I was in a dark room, and alone.
My parents didn’t let me go to school. My mother tried to teach me things that didn’t interest me, like stitching and cooking. In my home, I felt I was living in a cage, not allowed to do anything. I grew up like this, far from everything.
I didn’t know anything about music, but it seems that I knew everything about it. Music became my best friend in my loneliness. It gave me inspiration, and it made me happy. My father and mother were against me hearing music, because they don’t know the real meaning of music. Others think music means nothing, but it has lots of meaning to me.
It’s really true what people say: music is food for the soul. It gives me energy and it teaches the heart.
Sadly, in Afghanistan it is not accepted for girls to try to learn to play music or sing. But I am one of those people who is interested in learning about music. I’d like to play the violin and guitar.
I really loved parts of my childhood, but I couldn’t enjoy it all because I was always working at home and I didn’t go school. Music gave me the joy I was missing. Music was my world. Because of it, I could find my happiness and forget all my sadness.
QU QU QU… baregi chinar (cries of a raven, the needles of pine trees)
DOkhtara Sheshta Qatar (girls sitting in a circle)
Mechina daniy Anarie (collecting the grains of pomegranates)
Mekhoran abbey Zamzam (drinking Zamzam holy water)
Kashke kafter mebodem (wish I was a dove, flying in the sky)
Kashke moiye mebodem da aw ray me bodem (wish I was a fish, swimming in the water)