The Children of Afghanistan: Shama's Story
Shama is a young woman living in Afghanistan. She is the sister of a woman with whom I have worked with for The Anna May Project, who was kind enough to introduce us.
Children of my homeland (Afghanistan) have suffered more pain than they deserve, have witnessed wars and killings that no horror film maker can correctly portray, lived dark days of life that no children in other countries can bear it for a day, have lost whole family and friends in one day, lost their playgrounds and toys in a blink of an eye, suffered from hunger and thirst for more than a week, and worst of all they lost their bright future.
Beauty can be described in different ways and forms, depending on where you are living and what you are seeing. For some of us Beauty could mean being rich, for some others it's being attractive, some other says beauty mean having what you dreaming of, but how an Afghan child defines beauty is way different than all these definitions. Afghan children define beauty as independency, strength, bravery, influenceability, and optimism.
Although, they can be called the most unfortunate children on the earth, but how they have managed all these traumas and still hopeful for a better future is unbelievable. They have defined beauty in the most beautiful way that no book and poem can define it better than them.
Beauty is not those words that a poet uses to define it's beloved, it's being hopeful for an unknown future, its being happy besides having nothing, beauty is feeling warmth of a lovely family despite having no family at all.
Beauty is being grateful even if you are running after every car and trying to get some money to live, beauty means letting everyone else enjoy your beautiful smile even though you are completely broken deep inside.
Beauty doesn't mean having beautiful parks around or expensive toys to play with, it simply means turning every frightening place into your dreamland and enjoying every moment of it without having fear of walking there, just like an Afghan child playing with no fear or complaint in cemeteries for the lack of having big and entertaining parks around.
Beauty is looking at these small watering pots with a hope and coming every day to cemeteries and cleaning graves to fulfill their needs. Whereas, children in other countries are not allowed to enter a cemetery for playing or other purposes, because it is not an appropriate place for them.
Beauty is not waking up in a comfortable bed, wearing expensive pajamas, having tens of servants, seeing everything done for you by others, and the only task remained for you is to just breathe the oxygen for yourself. Beauty means waking up every day with nightmares but still strong to face another adventurous day and have another important mission for life.
Beauty means standing up again, no matter how hardly you have fallen. It means using your beautiful small hands and bumped palms for changing your situation from worst to best. It means showing the world you are strong enough, despite all obstacles and despair.
The interpretation of beauty from perspective of an Afghan child, beauty means not depending on others, beauty means not giving up in your worst days, beauty means not being afraid of darkness, beauty means changing the world besides having no money, beauty means being powerful without having strength, beauty means praying for a better future, and dreaming of beautiful days ahead.