Wednesday, 19 February 2014

GINS #7 - Exploring Empathy

Today in class we were given the task to explore empathy. With a given amount of time, we were asked to become the main characters of our Global Issues Novels. We had to try and explore the emotions that they had felt. Personally, I didn't actually find this too difficult because I usually try to become a character when I read books. This was of course very hard in this novel because the pain and trauma this girl suffered was immense. Here is what I have written in the short amount of time our teacher provided:

I cannot believe how much my life has spiraled over the past few years. I guess I just never thought it possible. Even with all that was going on around me, the constant news of the Taliban’s imminent arrival, I never even have imagined that my life would become this. I was so young when the Taliban arrived. Still unsure as to the situation in my country. Sure, there were many nights in which I thought that I had understood terror. Watching and huddling with my three siblings and parents while war raged on right outside our window. My father’s shop faced destruction at least once. Of course, once the Taliban arrived, it was gone, but that was, comparatively, the least of my worries. My father on the other hand loved that shop. He spent his whole life trying to build it up and I could see the clear anguish on his face when he discovered what had happened. I still see it today sometimes, and it worries me deeply. I have grown up in the country of Afghanistan. It is my home, and forever will be, not matter where I go and what horrors take over. When the Taliban had first taken over my country, no one could accept it. Not even with our governer being publicly hung and set there for all to see would lead us to accept what had happened. When they arrived, some people actually rejoiced. They believed that the Taliban could help rebuild our some what torn nation. What we didn’t realize was that our nation was to become even more broken than it already was. My beloved mother, who used to always treat us with a great smile, entered a serious state of depression. We the woman who had fed us and taught us to walk falling deeper and deeper into a hole… and we had no idea how to pull her out of it. Of course, when the Taliban first arrived there weren’t nearly as many rules. But as time progressed, in basically the course of one year, I became a prisoner in my own home. If I was to go outside, I would remain a prisoner in my clothes, because a women was meant to be rarely heard and not seen. I however did not want to go outside. When they first arrived, I guess I just didn’t want to believe it to be possible. I kept clinging to the hope that our army would be able to defend our nation. The way it has for so many years. My best friend’s elder sister came to our house one day, and reminded me that I did have the freedom to go outside… though I am not sure it could really be called a freedom anymore. As soon as I stepped out I saw signs of destruction everywhere. I could not believe my eyes! Men who had once walked proudly down the street now walked with alertness and fear. Women who had learnt all their life to lead their own life now cowered behind the men who were their escorts. I thought that there was no way that the trip would get any worse. I was wrong.

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