Story of a Woman Victim of War
By Saleema, a RAWA supporter in Kabul, July 15, 2000
Woman: My sister, how can I start my story? Shall I start with my amazement, or my lonesomeness, or my homelessness? How do you want me to get it off of my chest?
Interviewer: Tell me the whole story of your life and I will listen to you.
Woman: My name is BiBi Keshvar. My father's name is Abdul and people call him Abdullah. I am about 40-43 years old. My husband has been killed in the Jahad's war. I am from the family of Donsghipaya with two sons, 15 and 18 years old. They were working in the small land inherited from their father, my husband, planting and harvesting grapes. We used to live on the income from selling grapes. When wars between the Taliban and Ahmad Shah Masoud started (two criminal warring groups) we lost everything. We lost our house, our property, and our belongings and ran away to Kabul, with nothing but our bare hands and feet, into the mountains. We now live in a small place with the help of other people. The Taliban and some of the war groups forced women and older men to go to Jalalabad. Youngsters ran away and the group therefore killed many of them. My sister, Fataneh, became lost and my mother could not find her in spite of much searching. Then some people told my mother that they had taken a few girls to Orgon (city). My mother sold all of her belongings, which consisted of her rug, her sewing machine, and her cow, at a very cheap price so she would have enough money to go find my sister.
I went to Orgon with my mother to look for my sister. In Orgon, we could not find my sister and we met another girl named Ziba from Guldareh. Her father's name was Golnoor. She told us that the Taliban had taken her to Orgon and sold her to a married man and she is now his slave. She asked us to please let her family know that she is living there now.
Bibi Keshvar said: I live here with the help of donations from other people. I had no shoes to wear in the winter. I clean other people's homes and do chores for them and live with the meager income of that. My mother and two other families live in the Russian embassy and we live with the help of the United Nations.
For us women, this group of the Taliban does not help us, and do not even let us ask for help to live.
They do not even let certain charities help us for different reasons, because of their reputations. No organization helps refugees. We are left here hungry and without help.
Even God does not help us. We are wandering here and there, sometimes
at different people's homes. Now we live in the countryside of
Afghanistan. We live a bad life.
PESHAWAR: On 4th of July 1999 on my way home from work a woman with a few children and her husband got on our bus. I was amazed by their scruffy out of the ordinary looks. I asked her "mother did you come from Kabul?" She
started to cry and told me "no dear I have not come from Kabul I have
come from under the axe. I wish we had died and didn't come back ever
again. Curse these two war makers. They took two of my sons. Curse the
heartless Taliban, they took my 16 year old and 13 year old sons". She
continued in between sobs, "They ambushed the house, first they took the
men and young children to I don't know where. Then they took women and
babies out on a bus and took us to Jalalabad desert. There was nothing to
eat or drink. I wish I had died in that house and never been brought
there. We found a bus with great difficulty and left towards Toorkham. I
wish I had a gun and I could take my revenge on the Taleb of Toorkham who was telling me they need men for the war. God knows if I will ever see
my sons again. They took them to be men of Masood. They didn't even have any guns in their hands. Curse Masood too, if it wasn't for him we
wouldn't have to go through all this pain and torture".