Starting school in Utah, wishing home wasn’t 7,000 miles away

The World
Sonita Alizadeh is an Afghan rapper singing about women's rights. She's also junior at a high school in Utah. New to the country, Sonita misses her family, who live over 7,000 miles away.

Sonita Alizadeh is a teenager from Afghanistan who got out of a forced child marriage by writing a rap song about it. Last week, Sonita told us about her first days at a high school, an international college preparatory boarding school in Utah called Wasatch Academy.

Today, we hear more from Sonita, from her personal diary, which she is sharing with us. In this entry, she talks about how hard it is to be away from Afghanistan, and why she left to begin with. Her words have been lightly edited for clarity.

I wish Afghanistan was near here so I could go visit my family.

Some nights, the child that lives inside of me, she cries because I’ve taken her away from her family. But I endure. And I try to teach her to be strong, to get used to being apart from them. Because I plan to bring change to the world. But first I must overcome this pain.

But when I think about my goal, it makes me happier and stronger — to be a strong voice for women who don’t have right to speak. I want to be an international voice for children who are being forced into marriages against their will. 

I came from a place where children would get married with dolls in their hands — a place where women will get in trouble if they complain about their wages. The first thing I want to do to protect women is to help girls get out of child marriages. If I don't do that, I’ll never find peace.

In order to reach this goal, I share my story: A story about the people being forced into marriage. With my songs, with my voice, and with my poems, I will share the life stories of all these children.

Please close your eyes for a moment, and put yourself in place of a kid who doesn’t have a right to make a choice about her own future. She doesn't know who she is going to get married to. She's a child herself — she doesn't know how to raise a children. She doesn’t know how to be apart from her mother.

You can open your eyes now. 

I hope you can give these children love, and you can help these children–by sharing their stories. Until everyone knows, and everyone’s goal are the same as mine: to save these children from child marriages. That is my job: traveling around the world, to make these women's voices heard."

Follow more of Sonita's story on Twitter, search for #SonitasWorld.

Listen to Sonita's song, "Bride for Sale":

We’ll be following Sonita's journey throughout the school year. Join us on Twitter (#SonitasWorld) and Instagram to follow her story.

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