Sunday, February 25, 2024

From depression to financial independence: Afghan woman inspiring journey

Immigration News

Fidel Rahmati
Fidel Rahmati
Fidai Rahmati is the editor and content writer for Khaama Press. You may follow him at Twitter @FidelRahmati
Image/Khaama Press.

Mursal Yusuf tells the story of her struggle with depression in the past two years. Two years that brought many challenges to women. However, Mursal’s struggle with this back-breaking burden eventually became an opportunity. An opportunity that paved the way for her financial independence.

Mursal is a girl whose talents and reasonable aspirations can be understood from the way she speaks. She had completed her education on the verge of a renewed power struggle in the Taliban administration and wanted to enter the workforce and support her family.

However, recent developments turned Mursal’s dreams into unimaginable turmoil.

The financial situation of Mursal’s family, like thousands of other Afghan families, is unstable, and economic concerns connect their days to nights and one unpleasant dawn to another. This situation is familiar to two-thirds of Afghanistan’s population, especially to many women and girls who have become victims of instability and face a force in the power structure that denies their human rights and citizenship.

As Mursal, like thousands of other hopeful young girls, looked forward to the future and took pride in her diligence, the unanticipated rule of the Taliban crushed her and her aspirations, pushing her into the confines of her home and depression.

She says, “I was hurt. I was sick, but my body didn’t feel the pain. The doctors said I didn’t have physical pain and needed to see a psychologist.”

Mursal’s Hand Embroidery Artistry.

“Psychologist,” “mental problem,” and “depression.” Mursal didn’t accept these words and was terrified to hear them. Because it had been instilled in him that “mental” meant crazy, and he had become just that: consumed by depression. He was alone in his room, not sharing with his family, sometimes sitting with them out of obligation. He even experienced hair loss and skin problems.

Mursal is not alone in this struggle; after the return of the Taliban rule, Afghan girls lost all their efforts and dreams and found themselves confined to a corner of their homes once again. An uncertain future, loss of financial independence, expulsion from society, and challenging economic conditions have placed Mursal and many girls in “nowhere.”

Mursal cannot bear this “stagnation” and begins to exercise to escape depression: “I’m careful with medication; I’ve never used tranquillizers. I decided to divide my time with activities so that this illness does not catch up with me. I walked, met friends, and gradually took up sewing.”

Mursal discovers her design and hand embroidery talent and suddenly transforms into a young woman who now has financial independence and can support her family. She conquers depression, and her designs and handiwork are warmly received by her friends, gaining popularity on social networks. Mursal stitches bracelets, necklaces, mirrors, and decorative foot covers, nurturing this talent within herself to the point where she receives more than ten orders in just three days.

Mursal’s Hand Embroidery Artistry.

Amidst prohibitions and limitations, Mursal motivates herself to find a market for her work. She visits the local “Lisa Maryam/Mary’s Market” and sells handcrafted items there. She describes a woman in America who purchases all of her products, allowing Mursal to focus more on her craft.

However, Mursal sees this job as something other than her ultimate goal or aspiration. She dreams of continuing her higher education abroad and becoming an inspirational figure for herself and others.

In Mursal’s belief, these circumstances are challenging for all young women. She advises young girls to find motivation within themselves and not succumb to depression’s grasp.

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