This story is by Frozan, a young woman from Afghanistan who is now studying at Dauntsey’s, a 600-year-old boarding school in England. Frozan’s family found a wonderful way to make her feel a part of the happy arrival of a new baby sister while she was far from home.
IN September 2016, God blessed our family with a new angel, my little baby sister. Her arrival to the family gave us all such happiness that we have not experienced for ages. She brought with her so much hope and spirit to our family. She is both very fragile and cute.
As in other countries, we have special ceremonies for a new baby. One of the ceremonies is choosing a name for the baby. My grandparents chose my name and my other siblings’ names. But unfortunately my grandparents were not in this world to choose my new baby sister’s name.
Names in our culture are very important. The name should be unique and it must have a beautiful meaning or a very important story behind it. For example, some parents choose the name of some hero or heroines for their children. Some parents might also choose the name according to their beliefs. For example, they would choose the name of some prophets for their children; so that they grow to be good people as their names. Also, people will grow according to their names I believe. Our names are our most important identity and something we will all carry all our lives with us. We build a very deep connection with our names. “Jamila” is an Arabic name; its meaning is beautiful, or pretty, or cute. Just think about someone whose name is Jamila being called Cute at least 10 times a day! Don’t you think they feel very special?!
My family gave me the honour to choose a name for my baby sister! It is not an easy responsibility! I had to search so many books and websites and spend almost a week to choose the best names for her. Then I made a list of names and my parents and my siblings made the final decision. At first, every time I suggested a name it was rejected for different reasons by my parents. Some of the reasons were: the name was very difficult to say, the name was just too unique, or the name had the letter ‘R’ in it! (This letter my 5-year-old sister cannot pronounce. She pronounces ‘R’ as ‘Y’. For example, for Sarah she says, “Sayah”.) After a week when I had almost resigned from the responsibility, my parents finally chose my name “Nilam”. Nilam is the name of a very precious and beautiful stone. The synonym for Nilam in English is Sapphire.
I hope my sister will grow up loving her name and understand how precious she is for us and how precious she will be for Afghanistan! —Frozan