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The Struggle No-one Should Go Through by Marofa Sharifi

September 27, 2021

It’s been a while since I became a dark observer. It’s been a while that I’ve barely seen a shining moon out there. It’s been a while that I haven’t seen those tiny kittens passing in the street in the morning. It’s been a while since I lost track of time. Each minute seems like a month and each day like a year.

Being lost among the ashes, being drowned in the pool of blood, haunted in Burkas, and forgotten. That is how life is going on in Afghanistan. That is how innocent lives drown. And that is how the world has turned its back on its very core of being: humanity. Such a paradox, having such different mottos and actions. Such a paradox—traveling back in centuries but getting old, each second like a year.

I feel numb, but I’m sensitive, simultaneously—getting frightened by a falling leaf. I am sleepy, but awake the whole night. I abstain from being around crowds, while my mind is the busiest place. I feel pain in my chest. It is not something I can describe, but it burns. I feel sorrow in my soul. It is not something I can explain, but it is about to burst.


Smoke and Mirrors with Marofa Sharifi
Interviewed by Jemimah Wei

What is the first thing you remember feeling really strongly that you wanted to write, and why?

I was mostly busy with my studies until a few months ago. But one thing forced me to speak up and to look for a way to do it; that is injustice. Human rights-related injustice, and injustice in social activities. My first concern was about Afghan women and minorities in Afghanistan. They can’t expose themselves as they want. And that contradicts to using the most basic human rights.

In most flash stories, there is a central idea or feeling. What is that for you, in this piece?

In this piece, I wanted to tell the readers to see the society from my point of view. I also wanted to share how I struggle as member of society, and how having a vague and uncertain feeling about my existence tortures me from inside.


Marofa Sharifi is student who believes in the power of knowledge and the changes that it could create.

Art by Mishal Ibrahim


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