By Aqila Mohammadi*
I want to share my memory on the context of peace through the things that I have learned over the course of the traditional life style from the country where I was born.
As rural girl, I was always wishing to return to my village to participate in events where there should not be any division between men and women. As I remember, people on every occasion were gathering and celebrating both in happiness times and in times of grief, always together. There wasn’t any argument about insecurity and threats. People tirelessly were working on their farmland, then collecting its products. People were just happy though they didn’t have colorful cars or big houses.
At that time, I didn’t remember that people discussing about tribes, ethnicity, religion and gender advantages and disadvantages. Hence, I could wear my preferred clothes. I was walking everywhere without fear. I had my own entertainments along with my friends. Especially in spring, while the grass was raised, both the lands and deserts generously were hosting sheep, lambs, and goats. A waterfall from a small river produced natural sounds and led me to be more comfortable .
When I was of school age, my family moved to Kabul. My father began doing business, running a hotel. I, with my older brother, attended a public school. However, my family wasn’t rich enough, but still sent us to English courses, so that I could improve my language skills. When I attend to school, my parents asked me not to share my ethnicity and religion with my classmates because of security threats against us. I never minded why my parents prohibited me to share these things. But gradually, I understood that there had been members of extremist groups who targeted us because of our religion and ethnicity. Then I witnessed bomb explosions and attacks on education centers, bazaars, clubs, almost everywhere.
As the security situations worsened, the business of my father was bankrupted. Before the collapse of our government, he was able to make about $300 per an month. But after the presence of the Taliban, he can’t go to work. So, we lost our financing sources and struggled with the severe security problem.
Overall, the past 4 years of my life and the life of my family were the most hard and difficult time. I can’t fully explain what we are experiencing but we feel that our life is going to come to an end, and it will be the end for us as desperate nation.
From the moment that I avoided to cooperate regarding of sharing my characteristics for building trust and making friendship with my classmates, I figured out the role of cooperation in having peace in our life. As interactions between people decreased, achieving peace become harder and harder.
In the absence of peace, life is on the brink of dying.
*Aqila Mohammadi is 17 years old and a student of grade 11 from Kabul, Afghanistan