“Is this life? Is this humanity?” pleads Armineh*, a young Afghan girl, in a heartbreaking letter sent to SAT-7 PARS. Living under the Taliban, Armineh speaks of how “this is the end of all my dreams” and calls for the world to hear her voice.
I am a young Afghan girl. I have written this letter and I ask you to bring it to the attention of everyone in the world.
I write down what is on my heart with my eyes full of tears. I am writing during the utter confusion of these days; when so many hearts are broken, so many living without hope and filled with sadness.
Before these days, there were so many years of grief and war, and sometimes joy, too. I experienced so many different things during these years, which now I can barely think about. I cannot say that we only lived through grief. There were also good times, which must not be disregarded, although these were brief – and when I think of those times now, they seem to be a completely different world. A world where everything was different; where I was familiar with peace and laughter, and I experienced being alive. It was a little like a kind of heaven.
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban were able to take over our country, and this was the end of my dreams. I lost hope – it was as if all the doors were closed to me. The people were in fear and dread as the news came that our president had escaped the country.
All the people lost what hope they had, and the conditions became extremely difficult for them.
I no longer have the strength to speak, and I write this letter to express through my pen the pain that I am feeling and to make you aware of the suffering of millions of Afghans.
I had wanted to become a politician. But when I consider the limitations that will be put in place by the new regime, I think perhaps there is no future for me. Because under this new regime, girls and women will not receive equal rights and women will not have their proper place in society. After 20 years of struggle to obtain their rights, it only took a few days for all that had been built to be razed to the ground.
I do not see a bright future here for myself or for any Afghan girls, because we must be trapped in a chador [burka], only able to peer through a small opening, as though through the bars of a prison window, and somehow live our lives.
Is this life? Is this humanity? A life in which you are like a prisoner, and when the time comes to be released, you are in the next world?
I have many hopes, but I think at this point in my country’s history, this is the end of all my dreams.
I plead with you to make my voice heard by the people of the world, because we do not have the strength to live in this country. I have thought a great deal about it, but I can see no other way.
Our future is in your hands. Please rescue us from this prison – we can no longer face being prisoners.
*Name was changed for security purposes.