Marwa Moeen came to Addi Road in September 2021. Across that difficult month we had become closely involved with helping her and fourteen other young women flee Afghanistan as the Taliban moved into the capital of Kabul and seized power.
Marwa was our link: contacting us in secret via WhatsApp and sending us identity papers; keeping her friends and fellow students safe and in hiding in a single room, days on end of whispering while gunshots and shouting carried on the streets; leading the way to freedom in a night time escape. It was a long and dangerous journey for them.
Now Marwa is working for the NSW Ombudsman and going from strength to strength. She still regularly visits Addi Road in Marrickville to talk to us about her life and all the things going on in the world.
When the conversation turns to International Women’s Day this year she has many things to say. “Being in Australia means a lot to me. Every day I thank God I am here in a safe and diverse place. Now I live in Australia I can feel who I am. I can feel my capability, my rights, my dreams. I can fight for them and I can reach them.”
“So International Women’s Day means a lot to me. Truly a lot,” Marwa says. “Back at home we haven’t the ability to celebrate. We are taught as women that we are nothing without men. And we are under the control of men. We lose our capabilities, our rights, our dreams.”
“Now, I know who I am. Every March I get excited for International Women’s Day.”
“But I want all those women who have no rights in Afghanistan and Palestine and other places to know I can feel them. I want to say good words for them. I want to say you are not alone, don’t be sad, these days will pass. The black days will finish. And you can celebrate your day for women too.”