I was born in a valley between two rivers in Afghanistan in 1999. A couple of years later, my family relocated to the city of London, which is where I have lived ever since. Through my educational and personal life, I have experienced multiple waves of change ranging from my hobbies to hair colour.
Along the way, I picked up the languages of those around me and today proudly speak English, Pashto, Urdu, and conversational German. One thing that stuck with me through all the years, however, was my love for writing and storytelling. My parents and teachers noticed it at an early age and have encouraged it every step of the way.
It was during my first year of secondary school, I reached the first milestone of my writing career. An incredibly supportive and motivating teacher suggested I compete in the Young Writers competition. With her support and my passion, my work was published in the nationally available book filled with mini sagas.
Writing for me became a form of reflection and therapy. A method to explore my madness and the thoughts that spiralled and echoed within me. This was especially needed when I had trouble deciphering who I was as a person and my purpose in this world. Being from an Afghan family living in London, my identity was always an enigma to me. It wasn’t clear where it was that I belonged.
In reaching out to other writers across the world, I found a sense of belonging within the writing community. Reading and listening to the poetry and tales of others in similar circumstances bought me to the conclusion that my situation was not unique. Nor did it have to be an adversity.
I did not have to burn my roots, nor did I have to stick to them to find happiness. This is one thing I always emphasised to the bright children I worked with as a teaching assistant last year. They, much like me, found themselves between two cultures. But through celebration and appreciation of each culture, we found home in both.
This year, I am moving away from teaching children, to do some learning myself. I am completing an undergraduate degree in law, with which I hope to one day support myself.