I overviewed the story of two young lovers from two different nationalities and religions in a harsh traditional society. One needs to have the heart of a lion and the liver of a leopard to fall in love in this society.
“It was almost five years ago, in the last days of the university, that I became aware of the intense interest of one of my classmates in me. I did not expect this to happen in my life, even in the most exciting and the most enthusiastic of my dreams. His name was Noor Ali Noori, I did not even know his name, let alone understanding how he felt about me! Noor Ali Noori hails from central Daykundi province and I am from eastern Logar province; we were classmates at the Kabul University. At first, Noor Ali was texting me through a girly fake account on Facebook. We were texting and chatting for a long time, we used to talk about different issues and we became so close. Once he asked me if I had ever been in love with someone or ever had anybody crush on me.
I suspected he was a boy, and threatened to block him on Facebook. He admitted that he is a boy from my first year of the university and since then he has been in love with me. I still did not know and I had no clue who he was until it finally cleared who he was. In the first year of the university in Kabul, Noor Ali sent me a message from his main Facebook account, which I had immediately blocked him, and since then I had forgotten about him. Unlike me, he did not forget, did not leave, and did not give up in searching for me!
He asked me with a supplication to remove his main Facebook account from being blocked. I accepted his request and unblocked him. He told me that if I listened to what he wanted to say, he would never bother me again. He was sending me many messages day and night from his main Facebook account. He was sending me a lot of voices and text messages full of despair and disappointment. Sometimes he even cried, and I deleted some of his messages without reading or listening to them because I had so fear in a strict traditional society like Afghanistan but Noor Ali was very reckless in that situation.
At first, I did not love him, because the biggest problem we would face was the ethnic and religious differences in Afghanistan. I am Tajik and Sunni, but Noor Ali is Hazara and Shiite. I always told him that this could never happen between us, but, he did not accept and was very reckless. Even if I agreed, our families would never allow this to happen. However, Noor Ali was very confident and reckless. Therefore, I continued to oppose him and told him that when the university was over, I would block him from Facebook again and that all things would be the end of it. Later, in one winter morning I went to Kabul University. When I wanted to defend my dissertation at the University of Kabul, that was where everything changed and our destiny metamorphosed.
It was raining heavily that day on the campus of the Kabul University, and I noticed that Noor Ali was running after me quickly. He came to me, stopped me, and said: “I love you; I will do and manage everything, whatever is needed”. I told him that he should stop running after me, and it was then that he sat down on the wet ground with the despair, and put his hands around his head, and began to cry.
It was a scene that was unbearable and difficult for anyone. On That Day, I got into a situation where my heart could not bear to see him. My whole body trembled and shivered. It was the moment that I realized how candidly and humbly he loved me. Then, I told him “Now go! I will give your answer on the Facebook Messenger.” Since then, we have become friends; I gradually fell in love with him. So now, I love him so much and so much.
His family accepted, but my family was unaware of our uncertain and challenging situation. It was during those days that Noor Ali’s mother fell ill; so, his parents had to come to Kabul from Daykundi province to treat his mother. Daykundi mostly dominated by Hazara community is one of the remote and deprived provinces in central Afghanistan, where people have to pass a dusty harsh road; so getting through those roads where Taliban insurgents are all over is not an easy job; people would be checked or even get killed in those roads trying to reach Kabul. Due to Noor Ali’s stubborn insistence, they came to my father’s house to propose. At that time, no one knew about our relationship except my sister and my mother.
When my father found out about our relationship, he showed a strong opposition; he said a big NO to everything and everyone. Not only my father but anyone else opposed and protested against Noor Ali; my father, my brothers, my father’s friends, and anyone else who was there.
Thereafter, my father was upset with me and told me that I had embarrassed him and that he can no longer talk to his friends and relatives. I kept apologizing to my father and asked for another negotiation with Noor Ali; I asked my father to let me talk with Noor Ali and then I would make the final decision so that everything would be clear.
Finally, my dad responded to my request with “yes”. He invited Noor Ali and his family to our house. My father wanted to talk with Noor Ali alone. Therefore, they went to another room. After one hour of talking in a private room, as I was worried and angry, they came out of the room and both cried with joy. Yes!
Finally, my father gave us his blessing and accepted Noor Ali as his son-in-law. I never believed that my father would be satisfied with this but it happened. But my joy and happiness did not last long; some of our relatives came one night and dissuaded my father from his decision.
Finally, I said openly that if I can’t marry Noor Ali, I would never marry anyone else. It seemed like a real warning from me to them, but in a harsh and conservative society of Afghanistan, such warnings from a girl mean dangers and even death, as many other similar cases that happened in Afghan society.
We held our small espousal party at night so that we could hide it from those including my brothers who were strictly against such a marriage.
My brothers could never accept Noor Ali as their brother in law and they still have their strong opposition. One day, my older brother decide to kill both us with his car running on us in front of our home. He did not succeed but got off his car and began beating Noor Ali and screamed at me to go inside the home.
After he beat Noor Ali, he came home and told me that I had to leave the house. My brothers used to insult and curse at home; you can’t imagine how hard it is for a girl like me to let her dreams go away and don’t have the right to choose what seems best for your life.
Our relatives and my brothers kept threatening me and my husband.
Finally, we decided to leave Afghanistan forever to get a better situation. With the testimony and confirmation of my father and one of our classmates we got married and received our marriage contract paper issued by Kabul court. After that, with some money of our own and a little more borrowed from our friends we left for Azerbaijan.
We stayed almost two years in Azerbaijan. There we did not know anyone and we were very far from our families. It was really hard and exhausting for us. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was also there, but they did not pay any attention to us and did not investigate our case. Instead, they said, “We are not allowed to work or accept you legally in this country.”
Our education and our work experience were of no value there as well. We were living there in complete misery. Noor Ali was a simple construction worker. He could only earn enough money to pay for the house rent and buy enough food to survive. Now, we, having a baby girl of 9 months named Laleh, were very worried about her future in Azerbaijan.
Some times life there was so hard and exhausting that we faced such eagerness and insistence to return to Afghanistan, even though we knew what could await us on the other side of the land, in Afghanistan.
On one hand, my daughter was growing up, and we could not afford her demands, wishes, and desires there in Azerbaijan. On the other hand, we had no one and nothing left in Afghanistan but a family especially my brothers who were just like enemies for us. However, despite all ambiguity, we returned to Afghanistan. But After a few weeks of living in Kabul, the country collapsed to the hands of the Taliban, and it made all things worse and worse.
After the collapse of Kabul, the two young lovers fled from Kabul. Noor Ali and his wife Nazifa Rahmati flew to France with their little girl Laleh after they were evacuated from Kabul safely by the French forces; Ms. Rahmati was once a reporter in Kabul to a French media.
Nazifa spoke of the problems and overcrowding of people at the entrance of the Kabul airport; “It was so crowded that it was impossible to enter into Kabul airport at all. Many people including women and children were injured or trampled under the legs of the population. It was difficult for us to get inside the airport. My daughter Laleh’s hand was dislocated. “Because Laleh was crying from the pain of her hands, the guards of the entrance door let us in and we managed to arrive inside the airport.” German planes were not at the Kabul airport, So we flew to France by the French forces.
They stayed in France for some time and tried to apply for an asylum, however, it was so hard to fill in such application in France. Hence, the two young lovers left France for Germany, where they are currently living in an immigration camp in Germany. Though they have currently settled at a refugee camp, Noor Ali is still ready to take his family anywhere in the world to keep them safe, but Nazifa has become so tired of all traveling and the immigration problems.
She says: “Because my aunt also lives in Germany, we decided to stay in Germany as well. But we are still in a hopeless situation in the immigration camps, hoping that one day the pain and problems of all refugees in the world will be healed and solved.”
Nazifa is now optimistic about her daughter Laleh’s future. The couple wish they could live in peace without any threats and their daughter Laleh can educate. Nazifa sometimes misses her family, but she is now far away from a family who have always been against the marriage decision of Nazifa with Noor Ali.