Many people ask me, ‘Why Afghanistan, why afghanistan……’
But how do I begin to put inwords the first time I picked up a story about an Afghan girl. I was only 13 years old then but …..it must have impacted me because today that one story charted an incredible journey for me; how much I have grown just learning and thinking about Afghanistan. How drawn I was that on the night of laila-tu-qadr, it was as if the angels descended and sat beside to pray with me; for Afghanistan, I whispered, we pray for Afghanistan.
So in the quiet, at the age of 17 years oblivious to war and danger, I left on a 48hr journey to Afghanistan; from Singapore to England to Austria to Dubai and finally to Kabul. You know, I returned with my heart sealed; Afghanistan was my destiny.
I am 21 years old now, with a month more before I complete my law degree. Moving to Kabul is only a few months away. I am scared and excited. There is so much I want to understand and learn. I feel as though I have just entered a new phase of personal growth and spiritual development. I feel confident and empowered. I feel ready to take this on whilst being scared all at the same time. And I am welcoming these energies, I am meditating, I am thinking, I am writing and I am telling myself ‘It is alright…’ I only have to remind myself, human rights work is for the people, always for the people, always for the people. I am generating a new energy of compassion and I want to use it in my work for gender equality and love and respect between men and women in Afghanistan.
When I was little many believed this was a childish ambition, but I remember running out at night to find the Venus star in the star-less nightsky in my homeland, Singapore; and I said to myself one night ‘Something amazing is coming my way.’ I knew it because I saw the Venus star on the night of my 15th birthday. Afghanistan came not very much later; 2 years on.
I am beginning to live on Theoreau’s works. Here is one that will inspire you:
Thoreau on “Conclusion,”
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary… In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”