God Created Me But You Made Me, Mor

My mother at 25
Malali Bashir

I have known her ever since I can remember. She is a very soft hearted person yet very strict about discipline.  A very good manager and a real leader at times, she handled many issues at the same time. She cooked, cleaned, washed, she taught us how to speak, read and write. She made it possible for us to understand our rights as human beings equal to everyone else. She is the one through whose eyes we saw a once beautiful, developing and happy Kabul, the Kabul she had lived her entire life in.

Despite some financial issues in refuge in Pakistan, she was the one who sew and embroidered us beautiful clothes that stunned many well to do people. She was the one who had a keen esthetic sense and decorated a beautiful home with ordinary pieces other women envied.  She had thrown the idea of a cemented swimming pool for us that we always enjoyed after the long walks from school under hot sun. She had tied ropes to the trees in our house to make a swing for us. She was the one who played chess and karemboard with us on nights with no electricity when Agha Jan was not in the mood of playing cards with us.

She was the one who taught us “Subhanallahi walhamdulillahi ” while we would shout that, in school, it did not start this way, rather it started with “teesra kalma …..” and she would not have a single idea what we were talking about. She made cloth dolls for us and made houses for them out of wooden cartons. She is the woman who spent whole nights to make sure that we had hena on our hands and that we wore new, well designed and ironed clothes on Eid days. Apart from dedicating all her time to her own kids, she made sure the girls in the village had a space for having fun and so she would cook some dishes and call the girls to have fun, dance and sing at her house.  

She was the one who made sure we do all the homework and motivated and encouraged us to not only pass the exams but to stand first in our classes.  She is the one who took time for the uneducated women in the family and helped them go to hospitals and be around when needed.

She was the one who fought for our right to education and the right to education for our cousins. She was the one who sew school uniforms for us as well as for our cousins so their parents don’t make a matter out of an extra expense and they get to go to school easily. She was the one who gave her favorite fountain pen to our cousin when he passed his high school final exams (she had helped him to prepare for) and there was no one to understand the importance of his achievements in his family so she tried to make him feel he had done a great job and should keep it up.

She was the one who tried to shut hundreds of mouths that opposed our schooling as girls. She was an encouragement and support to Agha Jan in his decision of moving to the city so we could pursue our high school. She once told a woman from our village that one of us might become a doctor and solve any of her health issues when the woman demanded her to stop the girls from going to school and make them work at home.  The woman replied, “I will be dead by then”. And she replied, “Well, your daughter will be alive, your daughter in law will be alive and your grand-daughters will be alive and they would not have to run to a male doctor.”

While none of us became a doctor, the whole village started to send their girls to schools following our footsteps. They practically saw that we did not have to forget about one thing (house chores) in order to do another (study). She taught us how to cook, bake larger breads on bigger convex pans, and even how to sew and embroider apart from teaching us how to read, write, speak, socialize, recite the holy Quran, play chess, make kites, weave sweaters, be responsible and cultured citizens, be proud of being females, have an opinion and be able to decide in certain issues, be what we want to be (and to be trend setters and not necessarily followers) and never  give up in difficult times.

Having millions of sorrows in her heart, she never gave us even a clue about them. She only said “I am the bird that flutters its wings to fly towards its nest but cannot. I am a refugee bird” She spent the years of her youth in refuge in Pakistan in a hope to get back to Afghanistan some day and live there as peacefully as before. Afghanistan was the love she had left behind in a very young age when she was newly appointed as a teacher in Kabul. She got to see Kabul after almost twenty years with teary eyes and a mind in denial of the state of Kabul that she saw after the wars it had endured.

She bears on her beautiful and humble heart the wounds of her 27 years old daughter’s death; the daughter whom she had raised as a sign of courage, patience, love, strong character, aptitude and loyalty in the Afghan patriarchal society.

I can write pages and pages and pages about her and about thousands of things that I have missed writing here. I am one of the proud daughters of this woman. I love you Mor.

11 comments:

  1. I loved your article, throughout your article i got the feelings if i am reading about my MOR... love

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  2. :) This was such an inspiring tribute to a woman who deserves so much respect, so much acknowledgment! She shares so much in common with my mother. I certainly would be nothing without her support and intense dedication to my schooling when I was growing up.

    May God reward your mother (and all other mothers who contribute this much to their children's lives despite their own struggles) infinitely, aameen. They deserve nothing but the best of the best.

    Thank you for writing this.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for liking it, qrratugai. And ameen to your prayers.

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  3. Thank you for liking the article, Nazrana Janay :-)

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  4. Interesting, informative and heart touching piece, in particular the last paras. I think the story you have narrated is as a story of every Afghan mom and her role in family and society. The education supporting mind glitters your Mama and she should be a role model for all moms. Keep your pen writing on such days. One thing we have both mother day and women day! I think your piece is focus on a Mom character rather than a women.

    Second, I like your great piece. As it is not an ordinary fabricated and is originally hearty wording. Best of luck to you and your mama!... I wish you keep your pen up for ever.

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    1. Thank you for reading my blog, Achakzai saib. Yes, this is a rather old post but I thought might be relevant on days such as Women's Day and Mother's Day. Dera manana.

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  5. wow-----great no words to describe this excellent piece

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  6. Proud of your mother and all Afghan mothers who despite all odds and difficulties try to educate their kids..Salute to Afghan Moor.

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  7. No doubt your mother represents all the mothers as being a mother I also want to do all things for my kids which your mother has done for you people.

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  8. No doubt your mother represents all the mothers as being a mother I also want to do all things for my kids which your mother has done for you people.

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  9. I love it. It brought tears to my eyes :'( Love all the mothers :(

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