Declamation of this poem by her own voice [MP3, 1.6MB, 5:28]
She sent us this declamation to be played in a RAWA function on March 8th.
    By Sue Silvermarie, an American supporter of RAWA

    Bedi Begum was murdered by flogging at the order of the Taliban in July of 1999,one of 60 women to die as a result of flogging this year. This narrative combines the elements of several true stories about various Afghan women

I Stand by Your Ear Unseen
I stand by your ear unseen.
Before the flogging they buried me to my waist in mud
One hundred times and one, they beat me with a cane
Because I was wearing a burqa
the mullah was spared the sight of my blood
When my family took me home I was unconscious
They were forbidden to seek treatment
When I died the next morning no one was surprised.
It was three days after my 18th birthday.

I stand by your ear unseen.
When I was 14 I wanted to be a teacher. I remember
laughing with my friends on the way home from school
I remember writing poems about the future
daydreaming at the window into velvet sky
Impossible, then, to believe what would come
after the Taliban took our town.

I stand by your ear unseen.
When I was 15 they came. The wide world choked shut
Collapsed to a point of fear, hunger. Constant
My sisters and I ate what brothers left. Little. They
could leave the house for classes, for work
My mother's office job was taken away
When my uncle would accompany her
she took her turn wearing a neighborhood burqa
so she could look for food. She sold our books

I stand by your ear unseen.
Three years. My youngest sister sickened
My father carried her to the hospital but
they told him to throw her away. She died at the door
That's when my anger endangered all of us
In her name I started a secret school. To read
to write, five little girls and I risked our lives
I would do it again. It was a way for ghosts
to have hands and voices for awhile.

I stand by your ear unseen.
When another decree was issued, that houses with women
have all windows painted black, we had no funds
My father was gone, forced into the militia
My mother had nothing left to sell
They marched in to bully us
found the hidden school slates behind my bed
Hauled to the mullah, I told nothing
He shut the door and raped me.

I stand by your ears unseen
Famine and depression make periods scant
I didn't know about the baby at first
My aunt had the right herb in a hidden pot on her roof
She stayed while my baby bled out
A new decree, forbidden to make sound when we walk,
caught her when she left. She didn't have shoes that were silent
They beat her on the street until her accompanying son
in his panic tried to shield her
by sacrificing me. The mullah learned everything.

I stand by your ear unseen.
He announced my offense of having an abortion
which proved I was promiscuous
My crimes cloaked his and no one
could do anything but pray I might survive
That prayer was not mine. I was ready to depart
I do not ask for personal mourning. Twelve million living
women and girls require your outrage
Lift your veil! Open your ear.