Sabzina is from a village in Afghanistan. She never gives up on life’s possibilities; she is always looking for a door that opens to happiness.
She married when she was eighteen years old. Her husband was not the man of her dreams, but Sabzina wanted to start a new page in her life and have a family. After two years, her daughter Pari was born. In Pari, she found a new friend. Sometimes when she was sad, she spoke with Pari and sang with her, although Pari was just a baby and did not understand anything.
She worked hard and tried to be an active woman in her community. One day she heard that a private university was opening in her community and students could study at night. “Oh my God,” she thought. “My dreams can come true. I can get a higher education.” But her father-in-law was a big problem. Sabzina and her family live with her father-in-law and he opposes women getting an education. But unlike most women, Sabzina had money of her own to pay her university fees.
That night Sabzina spoke with her husband, Ali. He loved Sabzina and said, “I agree with you. I will speak with my father and support you going to university. Sabzina cried from happiness. All that night she did not sleep. The next day she went to the university and then she passed the entrance examination.
Now, she leaves her home at four o’clock every day to go to the university. She enjoys her studies and her lessons. She comes home at seven o’clock and starts cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes. After one semester she had some of the highest scores in her class and was honored by the university.
Her father-in-law remains opposed. Five minutes before she arrives home at night, she calls her husband or Pari to open the door so she can secretly come into her home. Every night, she prays that she won’t have to face her father-in-law.
One night Pari cried and said, “Mother, my grandpa said he will kill you because you are out of the home at night and that means you are not a good woman.” Another night Pari said, “Mother, I am worried. My grandfather said he will find another wife for my father and he will divorce you.” Sabzina kissed Pari and comforted her with a child’s game so she would not think about what her father-in-law said.
Sabzina is not afraid and is still continuing her education. I hope that one day she will get her PhD degree.
Photo: UNAMA / Fardin Waezi