I wrote a poem that was inspired by the RAWA web site - about a woman in Afghanistan who has given up on life - she is now forever part of the 'silenced'. I hope it will inspire you to help RAWA raise awareness and money for our sisters in Afghanistan who need our help in fighting the Silencers.

- Neesha
The Threshold of Silence

In the name of Allah, you have raped my body
In the name of Mohammed, you have stolen my freedom,
O! Taliban, what more can you take, you have shattered my soul?

My children have not eaten for days
My husband was killed in the civil war
And I’m trapped in a house with windows painted black.

I remember when I still believed in hope
I remember when I thought they would come
To save us from a life of chains.

I’ve heard of a thing called feminism
It fights for women so they earn what men earn
But in my country, women can’t even work.

In my country, women have no rights
Girls are not allowed an education
And my little girl can’t even spell her own name.

No one heard me screaming
Now I’m silenced forever
And millions of flames have died before me.

We are murdered if we leave our homes unescorted
We are covered from head to toe in suffocating garbs
And we are invisible to the world.

We cannot attract attention or we will be slaughtered
We cannot participate in social events or sports
My children cannot fly kites – real or imaginary.

My teenage boy, he believes that women are the scum of the earth
That’s what they taught him, that’s all he’s ever seen
He will beat his wife and treat her like a slave.

I wrote this poem to tell the world who doesn’t care about me
That I exist even if they look the other way
Just because it isn’t them doesn’t make it go away.

As you leave your home to go to work, sister
As you watch your little girl laugh her first laugh, father,
Think of my children – my life is over, but theirs has just begun.

I crossed over the Threshold of Silence
And now I am forever part of the Silenced
Marked by invisibility and darkness.

When I crossed over, I also crossed
The Threshold of Pain.
Where you feel nothing.

I don’t ask for your pity
I don’t ask for your charity
But never let this happen again.

Our silence must never become an epidemic
Because then we lived and died in vain
And left our children a shameful legacy.

My pen’s running dry, this story’s told
It’s dedicated to my Afghani sisters
So remember, you can never let it happen again.