The garden called “home” 

 Photo: Lalage Snow; Kabul, Afghanistan.

Lalage Snow

One of our writers began to think about home. It means more to her than any other place on earth. Maybe you think so too. But what is home? It may be harder to define than you think.   


Public domain

Photos: public domain

Public domain2

The palace was badly damaged by war.


THERE is a man who is very old. His name is Mohammad Kabir. He is 105-years-old. But no one is taking care of him. Every day he is caring for the gardens in the Darul Aman Palace. Darul Aman was the home of our King Amanulla Khan. “Darul Aman” means “home of peace”. The person who was interviewing Mohammad Kabir asked him if he was paid for his work.  He said, “No.”  The interviewer asked him why he is working if he is not paid. He said that the garden is his love ... his life ... his home.  All his life he has been there. When there was war in Afghanistan, he did not leave. He stayed when even, from every side, bombs were coming down.  He said that he will try his best to keep the garden young however old he is.  But I think the garden should keep him young. 

     The word “home” in Arabic is maskan. It means “calm”. It also means “sanctuary [a place of safety] from the outside world”. I was so curious to know what home really is. I asked many people—my teachers, my family and friends. They all answered, “When you find the answer let us know!” At first I thought it is where family, and those we love, are together. It is where we feel safe and happy.  We think of it as our own.   

     Then I thought that home is like a mother. It holds us like our mother. It is the place where there is love.  If there is no love you can’t really feel it’s home. If people took our home away from us, or destroyed it, if we do not let them destroy our love, then it means that we still have home. If we have love, it doesn’t matter where we live. But you must try hard. If I don’t care about my home, if I don’t try to make it better, then it will not be my home. I must care for it. Only then can I feel at home there.  

     I read a story about a woman who moved to a new country. I wrote her and asked her if it was hard.  I really liked this part of her answer.  She said, “My new country adopted me and accepted me. It gave me new opportunities and so I no longer have a desire to go back to my original country.” 

     If we feel welcome somewhere that place can be our home. A person who can feel like a new place is home is a person who can make friends. You have to accept love if a place is going to feel like home.   


     But even if you were all alone, like the gardener, you can still have a wonderful home. The place he gives love to is his home.  So home is the place where, most of all, there is love. —Farida

..........Farida is fifteen. Her native language is Dari.  She studies at SOLA, School of Leadership in Afghanistan. Her dream is to become president of Afghanistan and help her country progress.

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