A kamikaze last week was killed at least 53 people – mostly minority girls Hazara ethnic group – outside the training center in Kabul. Here, relatives and friends containing four young women dead, they remember their loved ones.
Soldier of Omulban, 17
My sister had many dreams and would make our country proud. My family and I are extremely proud of her for standing up as a young Hazara girl, a woman who has gone through many struggles, from private lessons to preparing for university when education was banned.
It was taken from us in the most brutal way. We are heartbroken but determined to support the friends who survived this cowardly attack to achieve their dreams. As an educator, I will do my best to help them.
He was the baby of our family, the youngest of five children, the kindest and the smartest. He never lost hope, he was always positive and determined. His greatest goal in life was to study political economy at Harvard University. He had planned it in advance – to improve his English and prepare for the Toefl exam. [Test of English as a Foreign Language for those applying to English-speaking universities]. In recent months, he has been studying day and night for the Konkor exams [Afghanistan’s university entrance test].
Over the years, he started watching a lot of motivational videos online and read books about revolutionaries like Che Guevara and global leaders like Nelson Mandela, fueling his will to succeed. An avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, he reads everything from books on economics to psychology.
One thing that few people know about him is that he is a foodie. Potato chips and kabuli pilaf (traditional Afghan pilaf) were his favorite dishes and he loved barbecue.
He wanted to leave a positive mark not only for his country, but also for the people of Afghanistan. Omulbanin always spoke of his intention to work for the betterment of Afghan women. He wanted to devote his life to service. Her determination to defend the women of this country was so strong that she took taekwondo lessons. It breaks my heart that he could do so much good in this world.
When I arrived at the blast site early in the morning on September 30, I saw his lifeless body on the ground, and all these wishes stopped. I had no words then and now.
By his brother Mukhtar Modabber
What did he mean to me? He was my everything. The friend who has sat by my side every hour of the day for the past 18 months, sharing moments of happiness, sadness and more. Vaheda was not my best friend, she was like a mother to me. He saved me.
He wanted to save many and aspired to become a doctor. A rare mix because he was as good at science as he was at math. We studied for hours for exams and talked at length about our dreams. We wanted to study at Kabul University. If I could sum up his wishes in one word, it would be “education”.
One of his most impressive qualities was his fierce loyalty. He would do anything to protect his friends and be there for them. Fierce but polite. A kind and honest smile – it made your day. She was beautiful.
When asked about one of my most unforgettable memories of him, I can’t pick one. I’m crying as I write this, but every moment we spend together is unforgettable. Whatever problem I went to him with, he would be ready to solve it. He would not leave you alone. He always said, “Maryam, I am here, I will look after you.”
He was here with me four days ago. I was late when I went to Kaaj Education Center. I got there a few minutes after the explosion. Since most of our friends were on the floor, I looked for him. I finally found his lifeless body. I didn’t leave her side until her father arrived, frozen, shaken and shaking. I sat next to him as I had done for the past months.
Since that day, his father and his whole family have not stopped crying. It’s hard to put into words how broken they are. His seven sisters and two brothers, who loved him very much, cannot cope with this tragedy. I visit them every day. I wish I didn’t come late, I wish I was with him. It’s hard to move on, but I will continue to work towards our collective dreams. I want to say to the world, “I promise, we are wounded, but we will continue.” For Vaheda and all my friends.
By her best friend Maryam Shafai
I remember Bahar’s childhood mischief. We tried to hide new things from him, because he was always a curious child, and as soon as he saw something new, he would start taking it apart. Not just toys, but random things lying around the house. Humor was one of his best qualities.
Since Friday, we’ve been asking ourselves why would anyone take it away from us? He never harmed anyone; kind, polite and always had a smile on his face. I’m repeating myself, but he was truly one of the funniest people you could ever meet.
Bahara was eager to study computer science. He never wanted to leave Afghanistan. His goal was to rebuild this nation and help his people. Hazari was killed because she was a woman. An intelligent woman with a great combination of playfulness and serious determination at the same time.
He enjoyed reading and was a good student, but occasionally made time to watch Hindi films – although he was not a big fan of Hollywood films. Shah Rukh Khan and Tiger Shroff were his favorite Bollywood stars – one of his favorite films was Khan’s Dilwale. He loved the simple things in life and hoped to build a successful future.
I can’t forget the moment I heard about the explosion. I couldn’t breathe. When I got to the hospital and found him, I didn’t want to believe it. Why did God take it from us? I am speechless. She was like any other young woman who wanted to fulfill her dreams and live a happy life. To make us and this country proud. My family lost a precious sister. My brothers and I must muster the strength to deal with this tragedy that we still cannot come to terms with.
Until then, may God help the families who have lost their loved ones. We are in this together.
By his brother Zohair Yaqubi
Marziya Mohammadi, 16
In one of her diary entries, Marzia made a list of everything she wanted to do in life; his bucket list. First on the list was to meet a famous writer Elif Shafakfollowed by a trip to the Eiffel Tower and Paris and eating pizza at an Italian restaurant.
Marzia also wrote that she wants to ride a bicycle while listening to music, walk in the park at night, learn guitar, travel the world and write a novel. His uncle, Zaher Modagheg, who discovered his diary, says that these life goals reflect his vibrant personality.
“She was different,” he says, at a loss for words to describe his niece, who died in Friday’s suicide attack.
The youngest sibling in a large family, Marziyya was an average student and was more interested in the creative arts, says Modaqeq. But then Taliban he was more determined than ever to complete his education and achieve his goals.
August 15, same day The Taliban has returned to power, she wrote about people’s fears, the shock and disbelief of “girls like me.” “Wasted a whole day,” he wrote. On August 24, he wrote: “I had a tiring day… I had nightmares that I don’t remember, but I cried and screamed in my sleep. I had unpleasant feelings when I woke up. I went to a corner and cried and felt better.”
In subsequent entries, Marzia wrote that she wanted to take part in the Konkor exams. His family discovered that he dreamed of becoming an architect, a career that combined his love of art with academia.
“Every week he motivated himself to study longer. There are regular records of him preparing for the weekly mock exams held at the Kaaj Education Centre. He would take mock tests every Friday and his scores kept getting better and better,” says Modagheg.
In his last entry on September 30, he wrote: “Wow, bravo Marzia!”
Marzia’s diary reveals the world of a teenager who wants to learn and explore the world. “I didn’t know he kept such a diary,” Modagheg said, sadness evident in his voice. “Some of his ideas were so profound that I couldn’t believe they were being expressed by such a young child.”
As Hikmat told Nuri
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