Left Behind but Not Forgotten

Samman Akbarzada

Samman was one of two Afghan women who recently graduated from our PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program in Rwanda, where she is now living as a refugee. We feel so honored that she was part of our class and invited her to share some thoughts on her experience. 

Hi everyone! I am Samman Akbarzada, an author from Afghanistan. First, I want to let everyone know how much I appreciate the loving kindness and hospitality of the Rwandan nation. Thank you for everything and thank you to all the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® (PTB) staff, facilitators, contributors, and everyone involved in giving us this opportunity, for giving striving females the chance to enhance their skills.

To the Afghan students who graduated recently from PTB, I want you to know how proud I am. I’m proud of every Afghan woman in Afghanistan currently showing extreme bravery, and resilience against oppression and barbarism. Know that you are being heard, but let’s hope for more than just being heard.

Today, Afghanistan might not be on the front pages anymore, but that doesn’t mean things have gotten better. There is a humanitarian crisis going on. Please do not become numb to the pain of the Afghan people. Let’s stand beside them, and do whatever we can, even if it is as little as raising awareness. This is when they need you and me the most.

Just imagine waking up one day and your right to work, to travel, and to get educated is taken from you. I hope you never get to know how that feels.

I have been blessed to be here, but millions of girls are left behind. For me, it’s impossible to not think of them every second. But it is worth mentioning that being in the beautiful country Rwanda has made things easier.
And you know, Kigali reminds me of Kabul. Especially at nights, sometimes looking at the gleaming hills, there’s this moment as if I am still in my castaway motherland.

I request you to not forget your sisters in Afghanistan and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.