I am free, a poem on escaping violence

I am free
Shamila Mohammadi

I know you don’t believe it.
I can’t believe it either.
I can’t believe that I am the same woman
Who grew tall under your fists.
The same woman you tortured
Now breathes freely far from you.

I still remember
The day I promised myself
To break out of your prison one day
And free myself.

You won’t believe it but I am the same woman.
I have been able to live outside your shadow,
To be happy, and to flourish.

You said no one else would love me.
You said no one would believe me.
You said no one else would protect me.
You said I wouldn’t survive alone.

But far from your heavy hands,
I’ve given myself shelter.
I’ve loved myself.
I’ve believed myself.
I’ve broken the barriers and the hurdles
And I’ve freed myself.

Artwork by: “Burqa My Foot” by Sulaiman Edrissy
Art Model: Baran Hashemi

Read this poem in Persian here.

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Daughters of Rabia is a collection of Afghan women's writings in defense of their human rights. The book was published by two Afghan activists, Noorjahan Akbar and Batul Muradi, in 2013. Following the book's success and distribution in six provinces in Afghanistan, Noorjahan Akbar created the Free Women Writers blog to continue publishing women's writings in Persian, Pashtu and Uzbeki. Since then, the blog has expanded to include hundreds of articles, poems, narratives, essays and paintings about gender equality, environmental concerns, economic inequality, democracy and other social justice issues. With a weekly readership of more than thirty thousand, the blog has reached tens of thousands of Afghans. This website is the English translation of these writings. Read the Persian book here: