Before she turned 16 years old, Nassima’s father informed her that she was to be married to a man over twice her age. This was not a marriage of love but about money, and she refused to obey her father. He turned violent against her, wanting to see her dead. In her father’s eyes, she had committed an unforgivable sin defying him, trampling on the family’s honour.
Driven by rebellion and fear, Nassima threw herself in the river in an attempt to take her own life. She would have died on that day, had a bystander not intervened.
When Nassima arrived in Hagar’s shelter in Kabul, she was broken. Far from her home, she felt alone, missing her mother daily. But with the help of her case manager and counsellors, she began to build her life again. She started English classes, went to day school and even took up sports.
Many competitions and medals later, Hagar International caught up with Nassima to find out about her life and future dreams today:
“I want to join the police force because I want to make a difference in my country. I have seen so many vulnerable children and women in the streets of Kabul, so I want to make an impact.” she said.
“Of course this decision hasn’t been taken lightly. Before I decided to pursue a career in the police force, I had decided to train as a beautician and set up a small beauty parlour in my home town. I wanted to be closer to my mother, because she calls me and tells me how much she misses me. But, when my case manager and Hagar’s legal officer looked into the possibility of me returning to my community, my father transferred a message informing that if I set foot in the village, he would kill me. So with the help of Hagar, we explored alternatives. I am now pursuing a career that I believe is honourable and just.”
Nassima does not want revenge on her father. She understands the system and the ways of men in Afghanistan. Family honour is paramount. But, Nassima knows she had no alternative. There was no turning back. Instead, she wants to make a difference to the lives of others more vulnerable around her in Kabul, and wants to transfer her skills and knowledge of self-defense to women around her.
- Give thanks for the work of Hagar International, Interserve and many other organisations working amongst the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan. Pray for wisdom and protection as they seek to bring the healing love and grace of Jesus to the lives of many hurting women and girls.
- Pray for women and girls in Afghanistan, as they are often seen as second class and unworthy, and where women’s rights are so often disregarded. Pray that women will encounter Christ, and through the Holy Spirit come to see that the are loved as beautiful daughters of the King of Kings.
- Pray for Afghanistan, as it grapples with democracy and corruption, and with a resurgence of Taliban influence and violence. Pray for peace in homes and on the streets of this nation, for peace to reign and for a renewed hope for the future for Afghan people through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 10 vs 29 – 31: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.“