Writing Project Gives Voice to Afghan Women
My dear Mother, come with me. Teach all the girls, from every place, all the girls who need encouragement. I need you to teach them how to live courageously. --Friba, Afghan poet
The power and importance of self-expression, even in a war-torn and patriarchal country, is the poignant heart of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, focused on love, forgiveness, and community building.
The writing process and the act of sharing it in community help vulnerable Afghan women negotiate life challenges and begin a healing process that fosters forgiveness. The Fetzer Institute is partnering with AWWP to create and distribute original writing focused on love and forgiveness from Afghan women.
As part of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project, women in Afghanistan are learning to express their own stories, and honing their writing and English skills, while readers around the world witness intimate and universal truths that transcend facts of life in a war zone. In both their prose and poetry, cries of pain give way to expressions of strength.
Over a six-month period, participants are engaging in writing that addresses key attributes of love and forgiveness from the perspective of their own life experience. The women’s stories and writing will be shared through the group’s website, broadcasts on Afghanistan radio, audiobooks and e-books for educational use, and a curriculum designed for US audiences to learn more about the Afghan experience.
The project will also collect oral stories shared by non-literate women, including women from rural areas and women with disabilities.
This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on the Humanities.
Related Blog Post: Love and Forgiveness in a War Zone