Thursday, May 21, 2009

Afghan Women's Writing Project

Here are the first two essays posted on the new blog: 

The Evening I Will Never Forget

Posted: 20 May 2009 10:42 AM PDT

I was waiting for this evening for a long time and counting down the days. I bought the tickets two weeks before that. This was my high school Prom. It was my first time participating in such event. I was very excited. I had to get ready to go to prom.

I had to buy a prom dress, a pair of shoes and other stuff that girls usually need! I went shopping for a week looking for a nice dress. I did not want to buy a very open dress so I had to look for a longer time. I went shopping with my friends. They also wanted to buy dresses and shoes. I tried on many dresses. Finally I found a nice dress that I liked and I bought it. Now I needed a pair of shoes that would look nice with my dress. I went shopping for shoes with my host dad. He has good taste in shopping. I got a nice pair of shoes. It was a masquerade prom party so I had to have a mask as well. I looked for a mask but I did not find any that went with my dress and more importantly, that I liked. I found a good one at home that looked nice with my dress. It was two days before prom, I had a pedicure and manicure in a nice beauty salon. It was my first time. It felt so good to sit on that chair and put my feet in the warm water. After the manicure and pedicure was done, the lady applied nail color on my fingernails and my toenails.

On the day of the prom, I went to a hair salon to have my hair done. When I went home I called my friend who was a photographer to come and take some pictures. Then we both went to my other friend's house. There were my two other friends that I was going to the prom with. We started posing for the camera as my friend was taking pictures. It was so much fun, we enjoyed it a lot. After taking photos, we headed toward a restaurant that our friends were waiting for us to have dinner together. During the dinner, we talked and we took a few pictures.

Finally I got to the prom with my friends. Inside it was a little dark. There were colorful lights spreading color around. There was a DJ playing the music very loud. Most of the girls and boys were dancing, some of them were sitting and talking and some other were eating candies. My friends and I went and sat down holding our masks. After a few minutes, since I do not like sitting down especially when I am at a dance party, I asked my friend and we both went and joined the dance crowd. A nice music was on and everybody was enjoying it. Although I had very high heel shoes on, I did not stop playing around and dancing. I saw a few of my classmates and my friends among the crowd. We made a small circle and danced together. Then I got thirsty, I went and had a drink. There was a small chocolate fountain too. I went there, took a strawberry on a stick and dipped it in the flowing chocolate. It tasted really delicious. When I had a few, I went to my friends. We started taking pictures again. It was so much fun. Then we started dancing again. After a while, I went upstairs, WHERE there were some boys and girls playing a game. I played with them for a while. Then I heard someone was talking on the microphone. They had a game like a lottery. We all had tickets and they were announcing ticket numbers. If somebody's ticket number was announced, they would go and take their prizes.

They also announced prom queen and king whom I did not see because I was upstairs! It was near mid-night that the party was almost over. Everybody was going to his or her houses. My friends and I also left to go home. My friend had invited us to spend the night at her house a week ago, so we went to her house.

In her house, although we were a little tired, we started taking pictures again. We posed for the camera again and again acting like models. We were three girls having fun together by posing for the camera, which was set on self-timer. We took many pictures that way. It was early in the morning that we finally went to sleep.

That was one of the evenings that I will never forget. The wonderful time that I had with my two friends will stay fresh all the time in my heart and my thoughts.

By Fattema

Women are Moving Forward in Farah

Posted: 20 May 2009 10:39 AM PDT

The Khaharan Afghan Moving Association (Afghan Sisters Moving Association) was just established in the Farah province. This association is for educated and uneducated women, who do not have enough information about their rights. About 180 women became members of this association and registration is still going on.

This is a social organization which has activation in Kabul and some other provinces. In the first days, they have run workshops for women about their rights, and how women might participate in up-coming elections in Farah province

This organization also goes school to school and gives information for women.

Rabiha Ayoubi, provincial director of the association said, "This is an independent union and aims to help women stand on their feet. To get information about their rights in life, we are planning workshops in different fields. We also plan to provide job opportunities for the women who are jobless and have no income. This association defends women's rights in the Farah province."

When women heard about this program, they started coming to the Women Affairs Department to become a member of this association.

Mina a young girl, 20 years old, said, "I became a member of this union, because there is opportunity for me to get more information, I also can share my knowledge with uneducated women. This is a step up for women's progress. We all know that Afghan women have lost everything during the civil war. We have power, but we need more assistance. All women should come together to fight against injustice."

Malali is uneducated, but she is also a member of this group, and she said, "The opportunity did not exist for me and my sister to go to school and become educated. We married when we were very young. We have no information about everything. Our first workshop was about elections. I learned a lot of information about elections and voting, even I thought that I should vote for whom my husband is going to vote for, but now I know that every one can vote for separate person, I am so glad for The establishing of Afghan Sisters' Moving Organization.

Liloma Sadiqi, a Women's Affairs department director said, " Establishing this organization could be a successful way for women of Farah to grow. By working in this association, they could learn how to be together and how to find solutions to problems. From the name of the association, we understand that this organization wants to unite the women and that is very important work in Farah."

By Seeta

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