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A letter to my mother

Salaam Mother Jaan,

How are you doing? I hope you’re fine and healthy. Everyone at home misses you, as ever; whenever we sit around the lunch table, your empty seat stares back at us and all we wish is for you to be here with us always. Dad’s birthday is next week and, like many other family events, you’re not here to celebrate it with us.

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Sometimes I wish you would stop travelling to Afghanistan once and for all. Every time you leave, all we can think about is your safety, and dad loses his appetite from all the worry and stress. I’ll wonder why can’t we be like normal families and have our mum with us all the time, where you don’t put your life at risk to help other people. I know you don’t do this for yourself, but for our people back in Afghanistan who need brave women like you to help them out of all the suffering and misery they’ve been enduring for the past 30 years.

You work not just to give them a voice, but to provide the opportunity for all of them to stand up against injustice without fear. There are so many people out there who depend on you, but the way you provide without asking anything in return makes me realise what a great heart you have.

I want to let you know I feel proud to have a mother like you. All I can do is look up to you, hoping that one day you will make a change to the world and give the oppressed Afghans, particularly women, the courage to speak up for their rights.

I know when you’re back in Afghanistan there are people who don’t want to see you alive, and that feeling kills me. Every time I think about how many death threats you’ve received, and how many times a threatening phone call in the middle of the night broke the silence and peace in our lovely home, makes me worry about you even more. I know you are strong, I know that you want to show those cowards that they can’t take your voice away, but I am not fully convinced that they can’t harm you, because they have the power to reach you at any time and by any means to keep you quiet.Horia and Sahar in London, March 2013

Sometimes I wonder what kind of heart you must have to sacrifice yourself and your family for your cause.

Being the daughter of a fearless human rights activist like you is a blessing, but all I care about is that my two little sisters and I don’t lose our mother.

When you’re in Afghanistan, dad starts panicking when you don’t call him at the usual time to reassure him that you’re fine; even when he doesn’t say anything I can see his pale face and worried eyes. He’ll send you a text and then stare at the screen until he hears a beep back. I’m as worried as dad but we try to not show our worries to each other. He says that every time he gets a call from your office while you’re away, he’s just waiting to hear bad news. I know you realize that we’re worried about you and your safety but I never want my to worries become an obstacle for you to achieve your goals.

Whenever you leave, I start to miss every single thing you did and said. I miss your smiley face, I miss your morning jokes; I miss how we cuddle next to each other and watch Extreme Makeover together, and I miss how you wake me up every morning for college. I just can’t wait for you to get back home and have our mother and daughter days (: Please stay safe and be careful.

Lots of love and kisses!


18 year-old Sahar Faquiri wrote this letter to her mother, Horia Mosadiq, for the mother's day edition of Marie Claire
Sahar's mum, Horia, works as our Afghanistan Researcher.
Horia and her family moved from Afghanistan to London five years ago, but Horia continues to spend much of her time working in her home country, documenting human rights abuses and supporting human rights defenders there. Support her work: ask your MP to help us stop violence against women in Afghanistan

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About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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