By Hina Gul, Human Resources Manager, SAWERA
Life is so beautiful but it is also full of sorrow. Most times, we live our lives through our emotions. When we are happy, we do not remember anyone, not even God, but when we are feeling sorry and sad, or in need of comfort, we call on our friends and God.
This is human nature. And as humans, we are imperfect. Human beings are social creatures and we cannot live alone, or be separated and isolated from society and our communities.
And when time is in our hands, our minds will wander. This can negatively impact our moods, and thoughts can also affect our actions. Today, my emotions are governed by my thoughts, as I return home from work to celebrate Eid with fellow Muslims to mark the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. I pray that this Eid will bring more happiness, for all people throughout the world.
This Eid is especially difficult for me, and for my colleagues in SAWERA because we have lost one of our dearest friends, Farida Afridi.
Farida is no longer among us, but she will always be remembered, and will continue to remain in our hearts and minds. As I sit in my bedroom, fond memories of Farida fill my mind with each passing second of the clock. If only I can turn back the clock. Forty-three days have passed since her murder, but my feelings toward her death remain unchanged; they are still raw and painful. My thoughts and the emotions I am feeling are overwhelming, rendering me helpless. The memories of meeting Farida and getting to know her in SAWERA, a year ago, are still vivid.
I have met many wonderful people, all with different characteristics, and have been blessed with every encounter which have brought me joy and enjoyment, even during the sad moments of my life. But Farida was special, because she was selfless and patient. She encouraged others even when she was down. She remained strong and never gave up, even when the going was tough. Farida, my friend, was a great girl. We got to know each other and became really close in a short space of time, and it is through Farida that I learnt many things.
Looking back on the wonderful memories I had with Farida, I feel the changes, brought on by her loss, acutely. Life goes on, but as time passes, it also brings about changes in our lives. And because of the constant changes that are taking place in our lives; situations, conditions, and people - can never remain permanent. We meet different people in our lives. Some stay with us for longer, and others are just visitors passing by. We laugh, we cry with these friends of ours, but one day, we all must leave this world – and will only meet again on the day of judgement.
As I recall the moments I had spent with Farida, one question remains on my mind: how is it possible for us to carry-on after the death of someone close to our hearts and lives?
That one year I had spent with sister Farida will always be a memorable moment.
As I write this, I am struggling to find the right words for sister Farida. I am unable to do much for her family, and for their loss. But I will always remember them and Farida in my prayers. Fairda will be remain in my heart until the end of my life.
My heartfelt prayers go to her family this Eid, and may this day usher in happiness and success for the family. And may Farida find peace and rest in God’s loving arms.
Rest in peace sister Farida. Amin.
SAWERA is a local women-led NGO in Pakistan, working in Khyber Agency (a tribal area) in particular, and in Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA).
SAWERA is also active in flood emergency relief in District Charsada.
"No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live."
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 1944 - 'Founding Father' of Pakistan.