One Thousand and One Stories with Fereshteh

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Afghanistan, has been an ancient civilization since thousands years ago where conquests, attacks, kingdom and dominion was a part of history making, however, it was the Cradle of philosophy, poetry, literature, logic, astrology and other sciences for thousands of years where very famous scientists and philosophers are coming from. 

Education was not really affordable by many Afghans years ago, most of the kids were sent to Mosque to learn the basic way of reading and writing and as a result many people had to memorize everything. This memorization gave people a good way of communication and that was "Storytelling".  As an Afghan, we love stories either listening to it or telling it. One of the major hobbies we are doing in our free time is to tell story. These stories has been said generation to generation and given with all the details and kept original.

I can remember when I was a kid, I wished night comes sooner when my Grandmother was going to tell us a story. The stories about Jinns and Elves, Unicorn, Giant, a cursed Prince who fell in love with a princess, Ali baba and 40 Thieves, Wolf and Ewe and tens of other unforgettable old stories.

When I was in my primary school my father had a very old, heavy book with thin sheets, the book sound to be used and read a lot because I had to be very careful while I wanted to turn the pages. The book had a thick cover with the picture of a well dressed man sitting on a fancy couch listening to a woman sitting on the ground. The book title was "One Thousands and One Nights". I started to read the book, however, I could not understand some words as it was written in old Dari, but the way it described the stories made me  eager to keep reading the book every day.

One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of West and South Asian stories which the tale's root was based on ancient Arabic, Persian, Indian and Egyptian. The man who listens to the stories is "King  Shahriyar" and the women who is telling the stories is "Princess Shahrzad".

Why Princess Shahrzad has to tell story to the king every night because After the King was away for a while and when he understood that his wife was unfaithful with him, he punished her and later on he decided to kill every new wife until no more candidates  can be found. His Minister has two girls one is called Shahrzad who was the last candidate for King and as she wanted to save the life of her family and herself she started to tell every night a story, but the stories were so entertaining that the king was so eager to listen the next part. That is how she postponed her execution for one night to another.

Now, maybe you are thinking why I am telling you about story, storytelling and storytellers in Afghanistan that is an impressive part of my culture.

I was thinking with myself that there are thousands of Shahrzad not only in my country but around the world who are struggling with life not to be physically executed but mentally. I decided to ask any women around the world to help me and like Shahrzad tell their stories to the world, be bold and stand for their rights and life.

Like One Thousand and One Nights I want to publish One Thousand and One Story of women around the world.

If you are interested that your story or your friend's story to be heard and shared please help me to make it happen.

As a Chinese Philosopher said :"a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" We have already taken the first steps.

Please feel free to send your story to this Address: story.nights1001@gmail.com



About the author

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After graduating in Literature from high school in Iran, where she was a refugee, Fereshteh returned to Afghanistan in 2002. She started teaching English to girls at the Afghan Youth Association and later attended the Computer Science Faculty in Herat where she got her Bachelors degree. After…

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