My name is Gharsanay and I am a 19-year-old living in Afghanistan. Here, there is always the threat of being killed, or terrorized by Taliban or ISIS. Every day, many people in different parts of Afghanistan are killed. A war and fight is going on between the armies of Afghanistan and terrorist groups. Many families lose the precious lives of their loved ones. In spite of all this, thousands of girls including me are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get an education.
For me a peaceful future looks like a life without the fear of Taliban or ISIS and getting an education in a peaceful environment, without the fear of my University being attacked by terrorist groups and filled with the blood of my favorite professor and dear classmates. For me a peaceful future looks like peace in my country, where I can go to all the districts of Afghanistan, and start educating people about gender equality, women’s role in politics, in society, and in peace making. Youth can make a strong contribution towards a peaceful Afghanistan and a peaceful world.
Even with all these difficulties and barriers, I have many big goals, strong ambitions and a vision for the future. I have a vision of a peaceful Afghanistan where political stability, economic growth, and modernized educational opportunities are available both for women and men. I want peace for Afghanistan because peace in Afghanistan means peace in the region, peace in Asia and peace all over the world.
I believe that every single individual’s contribution is precious for achieving peace and every single individual can make many great changes possible. As a woman, I want to work for peace but peace cannot be achieved where women’s engagement in the peace process is neglected. Women need to raise their voices and their voices shall be heard. Peace needs to start from our homes where our fathers, brothers and other male family members give equal opportunities to women for leadership and decision-making within their homes, where women are given equal chances to get an education to be policy makers, leaders and contribute towards the economic growth of a country.
I want you to understand that your home cannot be built by destroying someone else’s home. I want you to understand that war is not a solution to the problems. War is destruction and it is destroying everyone.
Peace is existence. I promise that with peaceful minds and peaceful acts we can have a better world, where love is spread all over the world, where everyone enjoys their lives, where equality exists. Let’s make peace our policy priority and say an end to extremism because extremism leads to destruction. Let us all contribute towards this goal and feel responsible for this goal.
Age 19, Afghanistan
“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.