More DW Blogs DW.COM

Women Talk Online

A forum for women to talk to women

Blogs in the competition

Jahantab Faiz reminisces about her time at school, when she and friends played ball and how the rise of the Taliban shattered her school and her dreams.

My first school, Setara high school, was named after a woman who was martyred during one of the many conflicts in Afghanistan. The school was very famous in the Fariab Province, where I lived. It had a big green yard. Girls in this school used to play ball, one of those traditional ones that mothers helped us sew at home. We gathered old rags, sewed them together and wrapped them with a tough cover. We had to throw it as far as possible and run, the competing team had to get the ball and hit us with it to win the match. Our ball was soft and didn’t hurt anyone, it was small but it meant the whole world to us.

All of a sudden, everything changed and the whole country was at war. The Taliban took over the control of the city, My father couldn’t go out for fear of being arrested, so my mother and I went to the local bazaar to buy food and essentials. My mother began wearing Burqa, but I wasn’t required to do so, since I was only twelve at the time.

I remember, it was a summer day, one of the first days after the political change. My mother and I were passing by my school. Earlier, I used to go down that road twice everyday. We  had almost reached our destination and were close to the bazaar. I saw that the school wall had been completely destroyed. Stones and bricks were smashed into pieces by powerful bombs, dropped by military jets in the past few days.

When I went closer, I could see the school building. My classroom was in one of the last wings and I sneaked in to get a view. For a second, I remembered the happy times we had at this very place, but now, I could only see broken chairs, windows and glass pieces all around. Wooden chairs and tables had been used for firewood and what was really surprising was that horses were tied up in my very own classroom! I was shocked! Nothing could be worse than this, but I had to keep silent and swallow my anger. Most importantly, I had to get away fast, because the gunmen who were camping inside could have seen me and shot me.

That was a lasting memory I took with me when we moved into another city after ours had been plundered. My only wish is now, that we need to find a solution to everlasting peace and no child in the world should ever witness war.

Jahantab Faiz


24.07.2012 | 13:11