Everyone knows that during the Taliban regime education was banned for Afghan females and
limited for Afghan males. Since the Taliban, global attention has been concentrated on
education in Afghanistan. However, people have forgotten other students whose problems
have never been spoken about. I am a rare Afghan girl being one of the purposefully forgotten
students who was denied the ability to be a voice for my fellow Afghan students in Iran. I broke
an Afghan tradition of thousands of years and came to Afghanistan by myself to find my voice.
Every year the Iranian government made problems for Afghans registering at Iranian schools
at all levels, and the problems increased each year. For example, my family was required to pay
an amount of money that was not affordable for them into a government account and receive a
receipt because without that receipt I could not register at schools. Also I must endure a long
process in order to get registered at schools. This included filling out many different forms and
getting different signatures from governmental organizations that were located far away from
students' home towns. Getting signatures had its own difficulties like standing in long lines for
hours and facing the rude behavior of governmental clerks. Also, this process of the Afghan
students’ registration was started very late, and, as a result Afghan students like me registered
after fifteen days or one month into the school year. The most challenging problem was that I
did not know whether I could continue my education in the next year or not.
Discrimination continued for the Afghan students during the school year. I was not only
registered late, furthermore I was required to catch up with the class on my own, and the
Iranian teachers were not willing to help me. In my first year of high school, the government of
Iran prevented me from going to school for one month. After one month I could join the class,
but the math teacher did not accept any responsibility to help me, and then he asked me to get
out of his class. Like any other Afghan student, I was not allowed to take part in science clubs or
science competitions, nor could I choose my favorite major because of my Afghan nationality.
One of my brothers who was talented could not get admitted in to special schools for brilliant
students because Afghans were not accepted. Even our library cards mentioned our immigrant
status, and I could never understand what that policy was about.
Most of the Afghan students conceal their nationality among their Iranian friends because
they are afraid of their friends’ reaction. However I was the unusual Afghan girl because I have
never concealed my nationality.
For the reason of discrimination against Afghans I decided I must leave Iran.
After one year of discussion, I got permission from family to leave. My family believed that I
would be back soon, but I was sure I was not going back because there was no future for me in
Iran. Because the travel was by bus, I could only take what I could carry. On the other hand, I
wanted to take three things that were very important for me. The first one was my album that
has all my school year pictures. The photos remind me of the good things about those years.
The second one was my birthday postcard that my Iranian friend gave me. This was very
important to me to remember that all Iranian people are not against Afghans .And the third one
was my library card. It reminds me to never forget what Iranian government did to me and all
Afghans who were immigrants in Iran, to remember that I came to Afghanistan to find my voiceto help all immigrant Afghans.
Writen by: Narges Noori