06 September 2008

I'll Never Return

I'm the woman who has awoken
I've arisen and become a tempest through the ashes of my burnt children
I've arisen from the rivulets of my brother's blood
My nation's wrath has empowered me
My ruined and burnt villages fill me with hatred against the enemy,

I'm the woman who has awoken,
I've found my path and will never return.
I've opened closed doors of ignorance
I've said farewell to all golden bracelets

Oh compatriot, I'm not what I was
I'm the woman who has awoken
I've found my path and will never return.
I've seen barefoot, wandering and homeless children
I've seen henna-handed brides with mourning clothes
I've seen giant walls of the prisons swallow freedom in their ravenous stomach
I've been reborn amidst epics of resistance and courage
I've learned the song of freedom in the last breaths, in the waves of blood and in victory

Oh compatriot, Oh brother, no longer regard me as weak and incapable
With all my strength I'm with you on the path of my land's liberation.
My voice has mingled with thousands of arisen women
My fists are clenched with the fists of thousands compatriots
Along with you I've stepped up to the path of my nation,
To break all these sufferings all these fetters of slavery,

Oh compatriot, Oh brother, I'm not what I was
I'm the woman who has awoken
I've found my path and will never return.

Meena Keshwar Kamal (born 27 February 1956, murdered at the age of 30 on 4 Febrary 1987). Meena was the founder of RAWA The Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan

"Meena gave 12 years of her short but brilliant life to struggle for her homeland and her people. She had a strong belief that despite the darkness of illiteracy, ignorance of fundamentalism, and corruption and decadence of sell outs imposed on our women under the name of freedom and equality, finally that half of population will be awaken and cross the path towards freedom, democracy and women's rights. The enemy was rightly shivering with fear by the love and respect that Meena was creating within the hearts of our people. They knew that within the fire of her fights all the enemies of freedom, democracy and women would be turned to ashes."

(from the biography of Meena on the RAWA website)


beakerkin said...

Actually her story in a nutshell is what is wrong with Islamic radicalism. When we dehumanize and fail to educate women and religious minorities we start with economies where over 50% of the population is idle.

A country can not build a viable economy with such a dogmatic handicap.

jmb said...

Sadly she is but one and was silenced. How long before there are enough women like her to be able to effect a real change.
Very moving and powerful words.

jams o donnell said...

Any nation that leaves a large proportion of its population fallow is building up problems for itself unless it does something about it.

Meena was a remarkable woman who devoted most of her short life to improving the lot of Afghan women. Her legacy lives on in RAWA but I fear they are swimming against the tide.