I am fire—
No water can put out my flames
No soil can smother my voice
My nature is not hopeless
I want to overcome evil
I am the fire—
That will destroy the cowards
Give voice to Afghan women
Burn down prisons
And show the world their oppressed faces
I am fire—
I want to burn
Though I know I will turn to ashes—
I’ll sacrifice my own breath
To give you back your happiness

The above has been reprinted with permission from


Imagine you have a story to tell. It is a story about hope, loss, tragedy and courage. It’s your story. Now imagine trying to write this story having grown up in a country where education was denied to you, where telling your story has been criminalized. And then picture writing it in a second language.

The women of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, some not even teenagers yet, are doing exactly this: fighting to tell their stories. Despite the risks, these developing writers are driven by the need to share their voice.


Artwork by unknown.