A hard life makes people stronger. Not only Bi Bi Zahra but also other families left Afghanistan during the war, but after a while they got back to their country with a world of hope in their hearts.
For 40 days, Bi Bi Zahra walked all the way to Pakistan for finding a better place, but unlike what she had thought, her expectations were not fulfilled. Everything was different and she lived 31 years with all kinds of hardship.
Now, she has returned to Afghanistan and is currently living in Shiberghan, the center of Jawzjan Province. The story of Bi Bi Zahra’s life is a typical story about displacement and being a refugee in Pakistan.
She says that when the Russians attacked Afghanistan, they and other families travelled across Bamyan province to Pakistan. Her brother Haji Ghafor, who was with her, says that they travelled at night because during the day there was fighting.
The flight was full of pain and difficulties, and many were crying. “In Pakistan”, Bi Bi Zahra says, “we had many problems and no home and no job, and we lived in tents. On rainy days we stayed outside the tent because the rain was coming inside. After a while, we built a small wall around the tent to be protected. The biggest problem however was the language in Pakistan, because we needed to be able to communicate and find work”.
Bi Bi Zahra also says she learned an important lesson in those years in Pakistan: ”In a foreign county, you have nothing. Even if things belong to you, they are not truly yours. We had no access to basic facilities, and the quality of the food refugees had accessed to was bad. The majority of children became sick and some died. One of them was my three-year old child”.
Finally, Bi Bi Zahra returned to her homeland with her family. Finding employment was difficult but they were able to start a small business. Now she has plans and hopes for life in her own county and she is committed to work hard for a better future for the women in her community.