Conversations with Kochay
I was introduced to Kochay through the Afghan Women's Writing Project two years ago, and she and I have been emailing each other since. Our conversation began around the discussion of beauty, and expanded from there. It has been such an honor and pleasure to get to know her, and I'm looking forward to sharing our conversations, and the beauty she has shared with me, with you.
in a small village in Afghanistan.
Her work is striking in its emotional power. I have to admit a personal love of her work, the image below being one of my favorites.
Kochay, discussing the image above: "I drew a picture of one of my friends. Her name is Diva. She is suffering from depression and low self confidence. We talk every night, and I am kind of a therapist for her. She share about her family issues, college issues, and social issues with me, and asks about my opinion among them.
I tried my best to help her, and thankfully I had been sucessful by changing her mind and giving her kind of hope to go on. Sometime when she can't help herself and feels terrified, first she cuts, and after that text me about her situation. Although I always tell her not to cut but still she can't resist.
We are friend for almost one year and she is feeling much better than past. Last week she send me one of her pictures where she cried on that after she cut and locked her self in bathroom. I calmed her and talked to her for hours and changed her mind about her negative thoughts."
Many women are expected
to return home directly from their duties, where they spend the majority of their day.
"This picture is an afghan woman who lives in my village. Her family came to live here a year ago. They were so poor and broke. Old tent, old clothes, old rug, and some dishes were all they had when they came for the first time. My dad give them a cow and place to live for the early needs.
When I visit their tent they start making tea with some sweets. I ask about what they eat for living. So she told me Qoroot (is combination of yogurt and salt). She gave me one of them although she don't have enough food to feed their family but still she was hospitable. Her big heart was a beauty for me.
She don't use mascara, makeup or expensive clothes for looking pretty. Her afghani clothes and her smile make her the most gorgeous women in the world. Beauty means smile. Beauty means hospitality. Beauty means having a big heart. Beauty means Afghan women.
The next picture is a picture of gramophone and Rubab (an Afghani music instrument.)
These things belongs to a house where the person who keep this think that singing is not good enough for both gender. Yeah! These instruments belong to our home.
Gramophone was my grand pa and Rubab is my dad's. My dad love music and he can even play Rubab but he never wanna be a musician, because he think singer don't have good personality and people don't respect them as an artist. So this picture shows two famous old instrument of Afghanistan in fanatic and banned music family.
Kochay always ends on a positive note, so I thought I would end with this image that she sent me of her hand on her pillow. I love this image, for everything that it says so simply and elegantly about what I have come to know over the past couple of years about Kochay and her view on life. I'm grateful for the opportunity to know her.