From the Afghan Women’s Writing Project: “Destiny Awaits”

The beautiful picture above — a girl carrying bricks — is from the the Afghan Women’s Writing Project. It accompanies a work entitled “Destiny Awaits: A Lyric Essay” by one of the project’s contributors, a woman named Nasima. Here’s a description of the AWWP from their website:

The Afghan Women’s Writing Project began as an idea during novelist Masha Hamilton’s last trip to Afghanistan in November 2008. Her interest in Afghanistan was sparked in the late 1990s during the Taliban period, when she understood it was one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. Masha first visited the country in 2004, and was awed and inspired by the resolute courage of the women she met. When she returned, she saw doors were closing and life was again becoming more difficult, especially for women. She began to fear we could lose access to the voices of Afghan women if we didn’t act soon.

The Afghan Women’s Writing Project is aimed at allowing Afghan women to have a direct voice in the world, not filtered through male relatives or members of the media. Many of these Afghan women have to make extreme efforts to gain computer access in order to submit their writings, in English, to the project.

Most of our Afghan writers participate in the project partially or entirely in secret from friends and family. We cannot provide details on how some women have been able to submit their stories in order to protect them from those who would not approve of their participation. Due to security concerns, we use the Afghan women writers’ first names only, generally editing out names of family and friends and removing locators. On rare occasions, security has required that the pieces be anonymous. In all cases, we or our liaisons in Afghanistan know these women well and can vouch for the authenticity of their stories.

The AWWP’s founder Masha Hamilton will visit Sweet Briar College this fall. For more information, go here.

 

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