Explosions and bombings come with spring in Afghanistan, making security the biggest concern and barrier for our team and our activities. I have not been able to take the girls out to a mountain for the past two weeks because of the unstable security conditions in Kabul, but we still have to live and continue working, one way or the other.
This Friday I took the girls to Cactus, a recently opened café gallery on the west side of Kabul. The gallery is designed to promote art and culture in Kabul and aims to provide a peaceful space for artists, singers, musicians and activists, as well as ordinary people who want to have a good time.
It was the first time most of our team members had visited a gallery. The entrance wall of the café is covered with a painting entitled “Farkhunda,” the woman who was brutally killed a month ago by a Kabul mob. We started our tour from there and then went inside. The girls kept asking me about the pictures and paintings hanging on the walls: “Nargis, what does this picture mean? What is the artist trying to say with these lines?” I tried to explain that most of the paintings were symbolic and meant different things for different people.
Then we walked into the big room designed for music sessions. The girls ran toward a piano sitting on the corner of its stage, while some grabbed guitars some and started acting like professional musicians. Each girl also sang her favorite song. We ordered food and over lunch, we told each other jokes.
The girls loved it; they kept telling me that they want to go out more often. Even though it is not entirely safe, visiting a gallery is still possible and we are trying to use any resource and chance to encourage the girls to get out, become independent and build networks so they are not alone in their fight for equality.
We are still hopeful for the future of our country and, like so many Afghans, hope is the only thing that has kept us alive.
Love and Peace