“The Dreams That Go to the Grave”: A Collection of Untold Diaries Collected by Mosawer Begana.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world that forbids girls from attending school.
This report highlights the dire educational and informational deprivation experienced by Afghan women, particularly focusing on the Taliban’s repressive regime. Approximately 80% of school-aged Afghan girls and young women, amounting to 2.5 million individuals, are currently denied access to education. Additionally, a staggering 1,254,473 Afghan girls have been prohibited from attending secondary schools due to recent bans imposed by the regime.
In recent weeks, Mosawer Begana, advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan, has been a leading voice in international forums. He addressed global media forums and world conferences in Bonn, Geneva, Vienna, and protested at the Human Rights Council (HRC54), passionately addressing the issues surrounding Afghanistan’s women’s rights.
He shared Afghanistan Women’s Struggles through the “Unseen Diary Notes” series, including anonymous diary entries from Afghan women living under oppressive conditions. These diaries shed light on the emotional and psychological turmoil these women endure due to the denial of education and its resultant impact on their lives.
Overview of Diaries with Pieces of Paper sent by Afghan Women to Mosawer Begana:
These diary entries poignantly reveal the struggles of Afghan women in the face of forced marriages, societal oppression, and educational barriers. The excerpts depict lost dreams, the longing for freedom, resilience, and the agonizing regret of unfulfilled aspirations.
- Forced Marriage and Imprisonment:
The first note portrays a woman’s distress, forced into an unwanted marriage and imprisoned in a life of cruelty.
She Wrote: “I will marry soon; they gave me to a strange man by force. This is a paper for you and a memory for me.”
- Yearning for Freedom and Identity:
The second note of an Afghan girl reflects a determination to rise above oppression, don a metaphorical mask, and return to reclaim lost identities and liberties.
She Wrote: “I was a Queen in the Palace of lights, but now I am a prisoner in a prison of cruelty. I will make a mask for myself and rise up in the land of ignorance and darkness. I will come back. My story is not over yet.”
- Strength Amid Adversity:
The third entry showcases resilience and strength, highlighting a woman’s unwavering resolve to find empowerment even in the darkest corners.
She Wrote: “Once upon a time, I used to look at the sky and assume my place, surrounded by the stars. But now I look down, worried about my position among the dust.”
- Resilient Roots in Darkness:
The fifth note on a piece of paper sent to Mosawer Begana exemplifies a woman’s determination to thrive despite adversity, embracing love, strength, and modesty as powerful foundations.
She wrote: “Blind my eyes, close my mouth, and put me in the darkest part of the world. I have the power to root in your depths with my blind eyes – a girl with love, strength, modesty.”
- Crushed Educational Dreams:
This diary conveys heartache at the unrealized dreams of taking the entrance exam and pursuing higher education. The anticipation and excitement for the banned Year 1402 turned into a profound regret as educational aspirations were denied.
She wrote: “I feel pain in my heart every time I think about the dreams staying just dreams. This year, I was going to take the entrance exam. I harbored thousands of passions for the Year 1402, but the entrance exam became only a regret in our hearts.”
- Unfulfilled Dreams and Lost Hopes:
The final diary laments the pain of shattered dreams, specifically in education, epitomized by the loss of a potential library and unfulfilled ambitions.
She wrote: “I was supposed to have a library this year with thirty thousand books, but alas, alas, the wishes have gone to the grave.”
Despite the relentless repression imposed by the Taliban since assuming power in August 2021, Afghan women and girls have displayed remarkable resilience. They continue to risk their lives, standing up for their right to education and employment.
Mosawer Begana believes that sharing these stories amplifies the voices for the importance of immediate attention and intervention.
Link of The Untold Diaries of Afghan Girls