The Walk

I was very sad because my teacher wouldn’t let me repeat my exams. She ignored my request and it broke all of my dreams. I decided to walk alone outside. I was really disappointed that I had lost my chance to go to the university. I really didn’t know what to do. Even the news that my other friends were doing well disturbed me. I had promised my family that I would pass my exams and bring them good reports. So how could I go home? What would I say to them?

I was deep in thought as I walked on the street. I just wanted to hear my own voice and cry and shout and I wanted to share everything with God alone. Suddenly a car stopped near me. In it were two boys. They were trying to disturb me by saying bad words. I didn’t respond. They got even meaner as they tried to humiliate me about my glasses. “Look, that old girl wears glasses and has lost her way home and is walking on the street.” Then they asked: “Where can we drop you?” They laughed a lot. I couldn’t say anything to them. I was alone, and also afraid.

Finally I took a stone that I wanted to throw at them. But they were gone before I could throw it. I was really afraid that I couldn’t defend myself. I felt even more sad and cried because of my weakness. What is my fault? Why can’t I defend myself? Why should I listen to those bad words? The ‘why’ kept eating at me, but I didn’t find an answer. I had really lost my way and didn’t know where I should go or what I should aim for, what my goal was.

As I was walking, I saw an older woman. She also looked sad, and tired of life. She was talking to herself under her breath. “Where should I go tonight? What should I take to my hungry children waiting for me under the tent?”

I asked her: “How can I help you, ma’am?”

She looked at me and said, “We can’t help each other because we are both women.”
Really, she was right, I thought. If I can’t help myself, how can I help her? When I observed myself next to that woman, there was no difference between me and her. I had lost my hope and she had lost her home. We were both in the same situation. I was thinking how we women are weak and can’t do anything, can’t say anything, and must just accept and give up.

But as I continued home, I thought to myself: “What do I really want? What should I do to get my goal, even if I have very bad days?” First, I want to make myself strong, then my country and society. I see much discrimination in families and in society. Women are victims for many reasons, but mostly just for being women. I decided to never lose hope, and I am sure I will one day be able to speak up to those who have discriminated against me.

By Shogofa


9 responses to “The Walk

  1. Dear Shogofa
    Thank you for your words – they are a wake up for us all. The things that you write about are painfully real. They are things that I, an Australian male, take so unthinkingly for granted, yet the essence of your dilemma is universal. ‘What do I really want? …’ In the safe haven that is my part of the world I thank you for making me think. This is the power of the word in the world. Never stop writing. With hope, John.

  2. Dear Shogofa,
    As long as you have your beautiful words, you are strong. You have a great gift, and it will keep you going. Don’t forget this. I am a teacher in the United States. I teach writing, and this is the most important thing I say to my students. It is what I remind myself when I have a bad day.

    Thank you for sharing your courage and your strength.

  3. Dear Shogofa,

    I am learning so much about the Afghan society and oppression of women there through your words and those of your fellow Afghan women writers. I live in the United States and am grateful that I don’t have to struggle in the same ways you and your countrywomen do. I’m sad for you but so proud of you for your intelligence and your strength. Thank you so much for your work and connecting with me and others the way you do. I admire you more than I can say.

    • Hello dear Mary
      first thanks so much from your nice comment
      i really happy when read. when i was write this story i was so sad i couldn’t share with any one i didn’t know then i write how i suffer in the way even can’t spent my time alone or in walking then i set and write to sent this side to share with you all
      thanks so much again to encouraging me .

  4. There is power in words and more power in the recorded word. Keep writing. Please keep writing.

  5. Dear Shogofa:

    There are time in life when we each seem to let ourselves down. These are the times when we need to examine what we can do within the realm of possibility under the conditions for which we have no control. You are doing so much just by sharing your stories. That you should not be allowed to take the exams is just another way others to try to hold you down. You have already risen about all of that. I am an older American teacher. Many of my students are older now too, and I often hear from them about how the most difficult times have in the long run, made them stronger. Hold your head up. Be proud of who you are. I often think men fear our potential, our strength, our capacity of give life and comfort. My hand is stretched out toward you. Take it. We are a sisterhood in that we are, we write, we share, we hope. Your writing sets you apart in a very special way. You are in my heartfelt thoughts.


  6. thanks dear respectful teacher Gloria, i am very happy to writing and yours comment make me more strong to go ahead and not give up theses difficulty make me strong and some time make weak to go ahead but i am try to find my way from this difficulty.
    thank a lot form all of you

  7. Dear Shogofa
    I was very moved by your story, in particular by the comment made by the woman to you that you were both unable to help each other just because you were women. I am a woman living in England and I have read and heard your story. Many times listening to each other’s stories is all we can do. Please keep writing, keep telling your story. People will be listening for you.

  8. This is a sad story with an unexpectedly hopeful ending. You words are powerful — please continue writing and sharing your stories that speak for all the women of Afghanistan.

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