Afghanistan

Two Boys, Two Dreams

I saw two films at the Jayu Human Rights Film Festival today, both first-person accounts from eloquent boys. Faridullah's Day Off was a touching account of a young boy from Afghanistan who dreams of going to school, instead of the brick factory, when the muezzen's call to prayer awakens the family each day. Rising in the darkness, the whole family - from the 5-year-old daughter to the father - march to work in the barren, exposed wasteland in which they make bricks. Debts for food and shelter since their house was bombed will probably keep Faridullah an indentured worker his whole life.

"Other children hold book and pencils. I hold a shovel," says Faridullah. "I'm tired of being tough. But I'm doing my best."

Wiping his brick-dusted cheek with his dusty hands, he falls asleep to dream of owning a restaurant with a garden. He and his sisters would eat well and enjoy life, giving free meals to people who couldn't pay. I pray his hard life doesn't harden his generous heart. His final advice to children - "Working is good, but only work part-time, so you can study." May a generous soul give him that chance.

 

“I'm tired of being tough. But I'm doing my best.” Faridullah in Faridullah's Day Off

 

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