I am Nahid Walizadda, I was born in 1993, when my family fled their home in the Baghlan Province of Afghanistan. The country had been staggered by years of war then, and has faced ongoing civil conflicts since. My parents, my two older sisters and I took on a 300-mile drive to seek refuge in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan.
As a three-year-old, I persisted in following my sisters to school. Academically precocious, I surprised all my teachers by keeping pace with the older students. At the age of 6, I was struck by a speeding car on my way to school. I fell into a coma for three days, and I was hospitalized for two months.
I discovered a passion for art when I was recovering. While still recuperating at home, I began to draw sketches on the lined pages of my notebook.
Back when I was in school, my sketches impressed my teachers as much as my test scores.
During the years that followed, my education broadened my perspective on the world, especially on Afghanistan, the country I always considered home. I learned that while Pakistan is no stranger to armed conflict, and that many women in Peshawar struggle with the city’s conservatism, the situation in Afghanistan is more volatile for men, more oppressive for women and more dreadful for society.
Afghanistan is a dangerous country for women and children, but also for men. A majority of our people are uneducated, irrespective of whether they are girls or boys. A majority of the boys are illiterate, because they have financial problems and can’t go to school, since they have to work. Women beg to pay for food for their children, because there are no jobs for them.
Most women don’t raise their voices, because they feel that no one will hear them and that no one will understand their feelings. But even when women are silent, their eyes tell their stories
I recently turned to the internet as a way to share my drawings. I hope to lift the veil on the sufferings of girls and women in Afghanistan. It was during an online search that I found Pax Populi’s Facebook page. I saw it as a way to accomplish my drawing and writing.
I want to show my drawings to the world. I am determined about it. Unfortunately, in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is too dangerous for women who want to show their talents.
As long as Afghanistan is divided and women are abused and have no rights, there will be a lack of peace and its people will always remain sad, I just want to bring peace and happiness to the people of Afghanistan.
A few months ago, I was selected as a writer in the ‘’Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP).’’ My poems and drawings inspired the audience, and AWWP support my works. My poetry and drawings were also published online, via Google, and also in OF NOTE Magazine.
I am a student of business at the Preston University in Peshawar and I hope to pursue my Master’s Degree in Business Administration in the United States of America.
My ultimate goal is to return to the land of my birth in order to address issues concerning women’s rights. One day, I hope that my drawings will no longer include tears.