The good thing is, we still loved each other


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Story by Farida from Afghanistan. Native language Dari. This year Farida begins her first year of study in America. As you read this story you will understand what a huge accomplishment it is for her and her family, and we wish her well!

I AM a Hazara Afghan girl. Since I was a child, I have lived in a region of Kabul where only a group of people called Hazara have lived. Where I went to school, our teachers taught us that other ethnicities that lived in Afghanistan were cruel to Hazara people. I learned that thousands and thousands of Hazara people were killed. Hundreds of them left their houses and emigrated.

     In addition, there has always been less opportunity for Hazara people than other ethnicities. Hazara are poorer than the others, and all these things caused me to dislike the other ethnicities because they have all the power and they control everything while we can only stand by and watch.

      When I was fourteen, I started to have opportunities to get out of my community. I went to a boarding school called SOLA [School of Leadership, Afghanistan]. At SOLA there are students from all over Afghanistan. They are from different ethnicities, from the two different Muslim sects, and many more differences. We even speak different languages. But at SOLA we all made friends. We were talking to each other and we had good time.

     One night my roommate, who is a different ethnicity from me, told me that Hazara are non-Muslim because Hazara are not praying to God; they are praying to someone else. She then started to say many more bad and very unkind things. Finally, I said, “You know these ‘ugly people’ that you are talking about, one of them is me! Did you know that these ‘ugly people’ were very oppressed, they were killed, imprisoned, and emigrated?”  I then told her all the things I knew.

     She told me that she knew that I am a Hazara, but not all Hazara people are like me. I told her plainly that all Hazara people are not good people, but all of them are not bad either! During our discussion we figured out that we are praying to the same God. We do many things in the same way. I learned that her father was also killed by the Taliban.

       After this experience, I went through this discussion with many other girls from different ethnicities and I learned that they think really badly about Hazara people. But the good thing is, we still loved each other—and by being with each other we figured out that not all the things we hear are right. I learned that whatever happened in the past, we should leave it in the past. We should always try to forget about bad things in the past and make a good future for ourselves and everyone.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com