Ten years ago I left the high-tech world to raise my two daughters. Instead of enjoying my sabbatical I co-founded a non-profit organization, Afghan Friends Network (AFN) focused on education for girls, women and boys in Afghanistan. AFN has not only allowed me to re-connect with my heritage but it has also provided a platform for meeting some amazing people who tirelessly advocate for the Afghan people. Najia Karim is one of these people. She is a poet and short story author. Through her thought provoking work Najia addresses important social issues in Afghanistan.
As a registered clinical dietitian and health educator Najia not only nourishes the mind, she also nourishes the body. Najiahas published two Dari poetry books and her works have been published in many Persian language journals. She is the founder of Cultural Society of Afghan Women. I am honored to share one of her beautiful poems entitled “I Am Woman” with you.
“I Am Woman.”
Tahmina Kohestani, athlete representing Afghanistan in 2012 summer Olympics
I am a woman, a mother and a sister
Golden crowned as a Narcissus on my head feels better
Tender heart as a flower, not stoned heart
Like a tulip with sorrow marks on my heart
In the yearning of my homelands’ splendor
As wounded bird devoid of wings, but no surrender
Bright eyed, perceptive heart, with open mind
In the eyes of the jealous, only deaf and blind
I am as pure as an infant & so mellow
Not like the dust of a mirror, but its glow
Halt and curb your decadent desire
Why throw the Burka on my face & attire
The radiance of the truth is so shiny on my face
Neither buying nor vending my glow in this race
I am a woman, a mother & a daughter
By Najia Karim
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