I Will Never Return

This poem is so beautiful, so inspirational, so thought-provoking, and so powerful that I just had to share it on my blog. There are no words to express just how brilliant this poem is! And most importantly of all, it is written by one of the greatest Afghan women that ever lived: Meena Keshawar Kamal

Meena was the first ever Afghan woman who embarked on Afghanistan’s first movement for women’s rights. Known as a feminist and an advocate for women’s rights, Meena called her group the Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which aimed to restore democracy, equality for women and men, social justice, and secularism.

However, despite her struggles, her beliefs were considered so threatening that her remarkable life was cut short, at only the age of thirty, by either supposed fundamentalists or the local Afghan intelligence agency.

Her death was indeed a very great loss to the Afghan Diaspora. May she rest in peace.

 ***

I Will Never Return
by Meena Keshwar Kamal

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.

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