Blossoms of the Pomegranate Tree, a book about the current situation of girls in Afghanistan.
I hadn't heard from M. for over four months. I had been busy with my independent work, the exact opposite to women in Afghanistan. I finally contacted M. who wrote back immediately about what was happening in her country.
"The situation in Afghanistan is obvious to everyone that we women are living in the worst conditions. The oppression of women and the kidnapping of women and girls have a negative effect on my spirit. I feel very sad when I hear about these incidents. Children who should study have reached their limit of 6th grade, but now they [boys] have started to work hard by their father's side to earn money and provide for their families' expenses. Now that the weather is getting colder, people are wondering how to get through the three months of winter. I am very disappointed when I see this situation. Why are we Afghans suffering so much?
Girls are still waiting in their homes. Some families have forced their girls to marry because the Taliban kidnap beautiful and educated girls to marry them. They are imprisoning socially active women and protesters, with rape and sexual abuse. It is a terrible situation."
It was distressing to read, hardly the same distress as M. would be feeling. But the next part of her message had some positivity in it. My friends and I have been able to pay online for her internet access.
"I review my university books again so that I don't forget my studies. I also read fiction books whenever I feel sad about my situation and reading books gives me hope again. I got some books from the internet to read. The title of one book is Blossoms of the Pomegranate Tree, which is about the current situation of girls in Afghanistan, that Afghan girls worked hard and became educated but with the arrival of the Taliban, most of them were forced to leave our country. Also, I read Victor Hugo's book, The Man Who Laughs. It was very meaningful. It gave me hope."
Victor Hugo, The Man Who Laughs.