no I am not okay
but that doesn’t mean I won’t be
I am breaking apart
and glueing myself back together
again and again
and.. I have to be strong for someone.
and I will be
for as long as it takes.
Great women of science
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) - British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) - Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist, famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity.
Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) - Chinese American physicist with expertise in the techniques of experimental physics and radioactivity.
Émilie du Châtelet (1706-1749) - French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment.
Mae Jemison (1956) - American physician and NASA astronaut. She became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992.
Vera Rubin (1928) - American astronomer who pioneered work on galaxy rotation rates. She is famous for uncovering the discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed motion, by studying galactic rotation curves.
Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) - English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world’s first computer programmer.
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on a hill overlooking kabul, with little access to electricity, more than one thousand women have made their own houses, brick by brick, from the land beneath them. they have created what is known by afghans as tapaye zanabad - “the hill that women built.”
widowed by the violence of the past 15 years, these women were left without the means to take care of their families, let alone a place to live. many were forced into prostitution and lived in constant fear of the taliban’s strict interpretations of sharia law.
the united nations development fund for women places the number of ‘war widows’ in afghanistan at more than two million. many are are uneducated, illiterate and lack basic job skills, and lead, as a consequence, secluded, poverty stricken lives. as one of the hill’s inhabitants put it, “it is better to be dead than be a widow in afghanistan.”
beginning in 2001, widows from all corners of afghanistan left the shadows of their harsh life for the rumor of a utopia in kabul made just for them. the abandoned government property they live on, once an outpost for the soviets, is now organized by the women in commune fashion.
aneesa (pictured above), with few relatives and no work opportunities for her as a woman, came to the hill after her husband, a soldier, was killed. “once you become a widow and live alone, people are strange toward you. they say a lot of bad things,” she said. “we feel more comfortable when we’re around other widows.”
but it was tough going at first, as police would tear down the homes and walls. but, she says, “i would rather have died than abandon this place.” with little help from the government or international donors, however, the hill can only offer mere refuge to these women.
There’s something very twisted in being the nice girl. She gives her best but still it is never enough. She gives all her love to someone only to realise—her love was a one way ticket.
She puts one person on top of her list but when she looked at that person’s list—her name was not even there. She squinted her eyes, she tilted her head but nope. Her name is not there.
She’s there when everyone’s weeping. She’s there when everyone’s screaming. She watched the world around her became vulnerable but she held strong. She can’t break down. These people need her. These people need her.
But when all is well again, she is forgotten. Everyone disappears—taking along her spirit.
Step on her head, break her heart, leave her be, forget about her, it’s okay! “She’s alright,” they say.
She’s the nice girl you see, so it’s okay.