Parwana Mohammadi, 17, is living in Kabul and is now in eleventh grade at school. She wants to become a successful journalist in the future. She did not have an easy life before her mother and her father got divorced because of the addiction of her father, daily because of conflicts including domestic violence which dominated the family life. Parwana felt alone, often helpless and sometimes ashamed. She did not dare to speak about it.
“I was always frightened. When I became older, the violence I had experienced affected my behavior with other people. I was afraid of peopleand I trusted no one. I was trying to avoid others.”
After some time Parwana was encouraged by her friend, to participate in socio-cultural dialogues with other people.
. “At first I was scared of being judged. But after a few meetings, I realized that these dialogues created a safe and reliable atmosphere in which everyone can talk freely about their values, their dreams, their challenges, their lives lives. I also heard from others about their difficulties and I learned how they had coped with them. I realized that I was not alone and that everyone was struggling with some sort of family or community problems. Not only did I learn from these discussions they also increased my level of understanding and tolerance.” She said.
After this experience I tried to promote such an open and friendly atmosphere in my family. I knew that I was the one who should start. For instance, I listened to my mother’s words more and in some cases tolerated her point of view even if I disagreed. I thanked her for all the support she had given me and I acknowledged that she had suffered the same way as I had. In return, I felt that she was also paying more attention to me. ”
“Today, we respect each other and have a good and peaceful life together!” she added.
Parwana thinks that now that she has experienced that being open and being able to have empathy with the other person has made such a positive impact on her personal and social life, that she wants to help others to engage in the same way with other people in their family, “my mission is to encourage other young people to relate differently to each other.” She said. c