چرا دختر زاده شده ام؟
(Why Was I Born a Girl?)

Listen to the poem in Dari

Why Was I Born a Girl? — Read by the author, Muhebbi Andeshwar

Listen to the poem in English

Why Was I Born a Girl? — Read by the author, Fariba Muhebbi Andeshwar

Why Was I Born a Girl?— Original Text by Fariba Muhebbi Andeshwar

 
زندگی سختر از چیزیست که حتی تصورش را هم نمی کردم. زمانی کودک بودم دیدگاه ام نظر به زندگی خیلی خوشبین بود.
ولی امروز با چالش های روبرو استم که حتی فکر می کنم در آخرین لحظات عمرم قرار دارم. همیش افسوس بر این میخورم که چرا دختر زاده شدم؟ ای کاش پسر بودم! چون دختر بودن در کشوری جنگ زده ی مثل افغانستان و در جامعه ی که زیست دارم از ارزش والای برخوردار نیست. گر چند شهرت و ارزش داشتن در میان افراد جامعه برایم مهم نیست. من همه تلاشهایم را برای دستیابی اهدافم انجام میدهم. ولی امروز ما نه تنها مهم شمرده نمی شویم؛ بلکه زیر بارِ ظلم و ستم نیز قرار گرفته ایم. هر لحظهء زندگی مان در درد، رنج، غفلت و فریب سپری می شود. استعداد هایمان، هوش و ذکاوت فکری مان همه دست کم گرفته میشود. زمانی روانه ی مکتب و یا دانشگاه می شویم. هی داد و فریاد می زنند….. دختر را چی به درس خواندن، دختر را  چی به کار کردن، دختر را چی در آزادی زیستن……
پس یعنی اینکه ما حتی به اندازه ی یک حیوان هم ارزش نداریم. وقتی یک قدم به جلو حرکت می کنیم. دوباره با رفتار تبعیض آمیز شان روحیه مان ضعیف می گردد و به زمین می خوریم. ولی ما دوباره می ایستیم و خود را قوی جلوه می دهیم. چرا که می گویم قوی بودن رمز موفقیت است. وقتی با یک چالش زندگی مبارزه می کنم. با چالش بزرگتر از آن مواجه می شوم. بعد فکر می کنم که راه حلی وجود ندارد. ولی دوباره خودم را روحیه می دهم. به قول یکی از بزرگ هایمان که می گوید اگر راه حلی وجود ندارد. در اصل مشکلی وجود ندارد.))
زندگی برایمان دشوار نیست ولی حرف ها و افکار تحقیر آمیز افراد کشور، جامعه و خانواده مارا از رسیدن به اهداف مان باز می دارد. چون یک فرد سعی و تلاش اش همیشه بر این است که یک حامی خوبی داشته باشد. ولی امروز ما در حدی قرار گرفتیم که حمایت نه حتی اجازه ی تطبیق افکار خودمانرا هم نداریم. چرا همیش به جای اینکه نوازش شویم، سرزنش می شویم؟
همیشه تنها شعاری که خانواده، اقارب و یا افراد جامعه برایم می دادند. این بود که تو نمی توانی، تو نمی توانی به اهداف خود برسی. چون اهداف که تو داری زمینه رسیدن آن اهداف برای شما دختران مساعد نیست.  من با خود می گفتم، مساعد نیست ولی  من مساعدش می سازم‌. کوشش می کردم تا حدالامکان حرف ها و افکار منفی آن هارا نپذیرم ولی باز هم ذهنم پرت و دامنگیر تفکرات مثبت ام می شدند. روز به روز زندگی برایم دشوار شد. متوجه شدم که هیچ کس درمان و دوای این درد و رنج نیست به جز خودم. باید به پای خود بایستم. دوباره از جا برخاستم و با خود می گفتم تو می توانی. کلمه  ( نه) را از همه افکار زندگی ام حذف کردم و گفتم باید با اهدافم بجنگم نه با حرف های ته و بالای مردم.
در وضعیت سخت روحی قرار داشتم چون با سقوط کردن افغانستان بدست طالبان همه افکارم تبدیل به یک کلمه مرگ شده بود. چون فکر می کردم با آمدن آنها ما اجازه ی درس و تحصیل نخواهد داشتیم. به‌مرور زمان روند بازگشایی مراکز آموزشی آغاز شد مشروط به اینکه بانوان حجاب اسلامی را مراعات کنند. فکر می کردم همهء مشکلات رفع شد اما از  آن مشکل که در فضای خانه و چهار اطرافم وجود داشت آگاهی نداشتم. چون به این فکر نمی کردم که خانواده هم مانع رفتن به درس و آموزش ام می شوند. در آن وقت روز های سخت زندگی ام را تجربه کردم. خیلی مشتاقانه و با انگیزه ی خارق العاده روانهء درسهایم می شدم ولی مادرم مانع ام میشد که نه وضعیت کشور بحرانی است. بعد از آن آنقدر گریه می کردم که اشک در چشمانم خشکیده می شد. با خود فکر می کردم. همه ی آرزوها و اهدافم را به آتش زدند و به خاکستر مبدل ساختند. دیگر راهی برای موفقیت وجود ندارد. سپس در یک اتاق تنها می رفتم، تک و تنها می نشستم، همه ی پنچره هارا می بستم و شروع به گریه می کردم. همه ی حرف های دلم را با یک قلم روی کاغذ می آوردم.
آنگه اندکی  احساس راحتی می کردم. خودم را نوازش می کردم که خیر امروز نمیتوانی فردا، فردا نه پس فردا… ولی نه دوباره خودم را تحقیر می کردم چرا امروزت باید هدر برود..؟
وقت به من یک ثانیه اش ارزش داشت. حال شاهد استم که هفته ها و ماه هایم هدر می رود.
آنها برایم می گفتند خیر فرقی ندارد که چند مدتی از درسهایت دوری گزینی یا خیر که باز ماندی‌. اما من خودم را با این حرف ها قناعت داده نمی توانستم.
چون واقعیت: (( قدر زر را زرگر می داند)). یعنی وقت برای من خیلی ارزشمند بود. یک لحظه زندگیم بی برنامه پیش نمی رفت. اما حالا روزهایم به بی برنامه گی و عدم هدف سپری می شود. چون امیدِ برای زندگی کردن وجود نداشت. اما من گذشته از این موضوعات خودم را روحیه داده و راه حلی را خلق می کردم. می گفتم برای 1 بار موفقیت باید 99 بار شکست بخورم‌. یعنی؛ بدست آوردن اهداف مان و رسیدن به قله های موفقیت زندگی چیزی ساده هم نیست. ما باید خیلی چیز هارا بپذیریم… از مشکل شخصی و خانوادگی گرفته تا به مشکلات عامه، از سخنان توهین آمیز خانواده و دوستان تا به افراد جامعه، دست کم گرفتن توانایی و استعداد هایمان از سوی والدین و خانواده تا به دولت و سیاست…
همه باید پذیرفته شود ما باید این همه دغدغه هارا بپذیریم. اگر  با یکی از این ها مبارزه نتوانیم بدانید که سرنوشت خود را  در همان نقطه تعیین کردیم و بس.
 

Why was I born a girl? English Translation by Safiullah Padshah

 Life is harder than I could have imagined. When I was a child, my outlook on life was very optimistic.
But today I face challenges that I even think I am in the last moments of my life. I always regret why I was born a girl? I wish I was a boy! Because being a girl is not of great value in a war-torn country like Afghanistan and in the society I live in. It does not matter to me how much fame and value there is among the people of the society.
I do my best to achieve my goals. But today we are not only not considered important; But we are also under the burden of oppression. Every moment of our lives is spent in pain, suffering, neglect and deception. Our talents, intelligence and intellectual intelligence are all underestimated. Sometimes we go to school or university. Hey, they shout and shout ….. What should the girl study, what should the girl do to work, what should the girl do to live in freedom ……
So that means we are not worth as much as an animal. When we move one step forward. Again, with their discriminatory behavior, our morale weakens and we fall to the ground. But we stand up again and make ourselves strong. Because I say being strong is the key to success. When I struggle with a life challenge. I face a bigger challenge than that. Then I think there is no solution. But I’m in the mood again. In the words of one of our elders who says if there is no solution. There is no problem in principle.))
Life is not difficult for us, but the humiliating words and thoughts of the people of the country, society and family prevent us from achieving our goals. Because a person always tries to have a good supporter. But today we are at a point where we are not even allowed to support or implement our own ideas. Why do we always blame ourselves instead of being caressed?
 
Always the only slogan that my family, relatives or members of the community gave me. It was that you can not, you can not achieve your goals. Because the goals you have are not conducive to achieving those goals for you girls. I said to myself, it is not favorable, but I will make it favorable ‌. I tried not to accept the negative words and thoughts as much as possible, but still my mind was distracted by my positive thoughts. Life became difficult for me day by day. I realized that no one is the cure for this suffering except myself. I have to stand on my own two feet. I got up again and said to myself, you can. I removed the word (no) from all thoughts in my life and said I should fight with my goals and not with the bottom and top words of people.
I was in a bad mood because with the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, all my thoughts had become a word of death. Because I thought that with their arrival we would not be allowed to study. Over time, the process of reopening educational centers began, provided that women observed the Islamic hijab. I thought all the problems were solved, but I was not aware of the problem that existed in the house and around me. Because I did not think that my family would prevent me from going to school. At that time, I experienced the hard days of my life.
I went to school very eagerly and with great motivation, but my mother prevented me from saying that the situation in the country was not critical. After that I cried so much that tears dried in my eyes. I thought to myself. They set fire to all my dreams and goals and turned them to ashes. There is no other way to succeed. Then I would go to a room alone, sit alone, close all the windows and start crying. I put all the words of my heart on paper with a pen.
Then I felt a little comfortable. I was caressing myself that no, today you can not be tomorrow, tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow … but I was not humiliating myself again, why should your day be wasted ..?
Time was worth a second to me. Now I see that my weeks and months are wasted.
They said to me, “No, it does not matter if you stay away from your studies for a while or not.” But I could not satisfy myself with these words.
Because the reality: ((Goldsmith knows the value
of gold)). That means the time was very valuable to me. For a moment, my life
did not go unplanned. But now my days are spent unplanned and aimless. Because
there was no hope to live. But beyond that, I was inspiring myself and creating
a solution. I used to say that for one success I have to fail 99 times. That means; Achieving our goals and reaching the peaks of life success is not an easy
task. We have to accept many things …
From personal and family problems to public problems, from insulting words of family and friends to members of society, underestimation of our abilities and talents by parents and family to government and politics …
Everyone must be accepted. We must accept all these concerns. If we can not fight one of these, we will know that we have determined our destiny at the same point, and that is enough.
 

Author Notes

Fariba Muhebbi Andeshwar
Afghan High School Student

Fariba attends a tutoring center in Kabul, Afghanistan. The center is one that has been bombed because of religious hatred. Like many girls her age, she has not been able to attend school since August 2021.

Notes

This poem is in a free verse style which departs from the three traditional forms of Persian poetry: Rabai, Masnavi and Ghazal.

Sources

Zucchino, David, and Jim Huylebroek. “‘Why Was I Born a Girl?’ An Afghan Poem Inspires U.S. Students.” The New York Times, 22 Jan. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/22/world/asia/afghanistan-girls-school-taliban.html.

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Fanni is Radnóti's wife
Located near the Tang capital city of Chang’an, site of the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi province, in central China.
Soldiers of that time commonly wore a white head cloth, similar to what is still worn by some peasants in China today.  The implication is that the conscripts were so young that they didn’t know how to wrap their head cloths, and needed help from elders.
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
The area of Guanxi, meaning “west of the passes”, refers to the area around the capital city of Chang’an.
This is an alternative name for a province in western China, now known as Qinghai, which literally means “blue sea”.  Kokonor Lake, located in Qinghai, is the largest saline lake in China.  
Before China’s unification under the Qin dynasty in 221 B.C. there were several competing smaller kingdoms.  Han and Qin were two of these kingdoms. Han was located east of famous mountain passes that separated that area from the power base of the Qin dynasty, with its capital in Chang’an. The Qin dynasty itself only lasted about 15 years after unification due to its draconian rule, but soldiers under Qin rule retained a reputation as strong fighters.
Oulart Hollow was the site of a famous victory of the Irish rebels over British troops, which took place on May 27, 1798. The rebels killed nearly all the British attackers in this battle. (Source: Maxwell, W. H. History of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. H. H. Bohn, London 1854, pp 92-93, at archive.org)
The phrase "United Men" is elaborated upon in the Notes section below.

Ghetto


An Italian word meaning “foundry.” It originally referred to a part of the city of Venice where the Jews of that city were forced to live; the area was called “the ghetto” because there was a foundry nearby. The term eventually came to refer to any part of a city in which a minority group is forced to live as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. Because of the restrictions placed upon them, ghetto residents are often impoverished.

"You’re five nine, I am do-uble two"


A reference to the year 1959 and the year 2020.

"The Currency"


Meaning US dollars - this is drawing attention to the fact that Cuba is effectively dollarized.

"Sixty years with the dom-ino stuck"


This sentence is a reference to the Cold War notion that countries would turn Communist one after the other - like dominos. Cuba was the first domino, but it got stuck - no one else followed through into communism.

رحلنا


رحلنا, or "rahalna," means "we have left."

Habibi


Habibi means "my love."

Ra7eel


Ra7eel, or "raheel," means "departure."

3awda


3awda, or "awda," means "returning."

أهلاً


أهلاً, or "ahalan," means "welcome."

a5 ya baba


a5 ya baba, pronounced "akh ya baba," means "Oh my father."

golpe


Treece translates "golpe" as "beating", which is correct, however misses the secondary meaning of the word: "coup".

Carlos


The “Carlos” referred to in the poem is most likely Carlos Bolsonaro, a politician from Rio de Janeiro and the second son of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s current president. His and his father’s involvement in Marielle’s murder has been questioned and investigated.