Being an Afghan These Days

by Wadia Samadi

It still feels like a dream.
A bad dream.
My country falling apart before my eyes
My people escaping,
clinging onto the plane,
My family stuck at the airport,
Bloodshed,
bodies torn apart,
Is my family okay?
Yes, they are.
A sigh of relief!
But hundred others are dead?

Am I doing enough?
Survivors guilt
For living in the west,
For not being with family,
For not sending enough money,
For not calling enough,
For living my life.

Oh, there’s also anger,
hurt, pain.
Why my people?
Why my country?
Why are we the pieces to your chess game?
Why are we the victims of your politics?
Your policies?
Your thirst for money and power?

I am an immigrant.
Of this I am always reminded
One way or the other.
But I had hopes.
I always dreamed of going back to my home.
My homeland.
My family.
Seeing my children with their grandparents,
Playing with their cousins,
eating the real Afghan naan.

There’s this void I feel.
When will I feel whole again?
When will I have an identity again?
When will I know I can go back to my country?
When will I be more than just an immigrant?

I will keep my country alive
In my vibrant Afghani dresses,
In my hospitality,
In my dance,
In my stories to my children
In my house, in my writings,
In loving others,
In lending a helping hand.
In music, in food, in gatherings,
In believing,
In hoping,
In dreaming.
In staying strong.
Because, this is who an Afghan is!

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Afghan Voices

Writing by Afghan writers. Editor/Publisher: Nancy Antle; Editor: Pamela Hart