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Waves of Black and White

Kabul, June 15 2007


Early every morning and late afternoon, except Friday, you see them in waves coming round the corners,

walking down the streets, books in hands,

some skipping, some walking slowly,

some joking around playing tag, and others holding hands in serious discussion.


These are the school girls of Afghanistan. Probably ages 10 to 17.

They are dressed in black with white head covers.

They may all look the same but they are not at all.


The black shamwar Kameez (top and bottom) differ in slight styles and the white head/body covers are also differing. If you get close enough, the shoes are different. Some are flats, some are higher heels. Some have highlighted their hair and the wisps show from under the scarves. Some have pony tails, others braids or loose.


What a sight to see.

These waves of black and white flowing down the streets of Kabul.

Ripple after ripple ebbing in and out of the shops.

Making a statement.


The schools we attend have not been burned down as have our sisters schools. We are not meeting under a tree as do our sisters.

Our teachers are not murdered as in other parts of the country.

We are strong as are our sisters.

We are moving down the street to school and back from school and

one day we will move with our sisters.

We are a wave of girls, women.

We are a wave of  humanity.

We are moving.


By Paulette Schatz, Project Manager, Joint National Youth Programme, UNDP, Kabul, Afghanistan Mar 2007 – Mar 2008

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