To Celebrate Our New Year
(Publisher’s Note: The New Year, Nowruz, occurs on the vernal equinox and is the first day of the year on Afghanistan’s official calendar.)
This is a new year and a new spring. Spring is reborn! Flowers blossom, trees get new green leaves. The weather is pleasant and feels like a new life!
But this year is completely different. For those who are in Afghanistan, they look at their uncertain future. Some do not have money to buy new things for their children. Some are stopped from going to schools. Some lost their jobs. There is no spring for them.
Some, like me are in another country looking at an uncertain future. My parents are somewhere else while my siblings are still in Afghanistan. I do not have a new year. I do not have them beside me.
Closing my eyes, I think about my future. September is the month when I will be done with my assignment in this country. Where should I go after that? Should I go back to Afghanistan where women do not have their basic rights? Where they might be killed for doing the wrong thing? There is no second choice. No country gives us a visa to immigrate and live peacefully. When will I see my parents, my siblings again?
We are some of the most ignored people in the world. I remember when Afghanistan collapsed, very rarely did celebrities who call themselves women activists or children’s activists write anything about us. But when there was a war in Ukraine, suddenly everyone got up and started writing about the war in Ukraine. I am happy that at least Ukrainians are not ignored. Many countries welcomed them to seek refuge there. But when Afghans were there, they have been rejected. Why? Because Afghans are not white. Afghans are not civilized according to them. Afghans are Muslims.
I am tired. My mind is tired. I am just a dead body who moves. I want to again experience the happy moments I had with my family in my little village!
New year is coming, but nothing is new for me. I can’t even smile and welcome it.