While I am celebrating my graduation, thousands of girls in my beloved country, Afghanistan, have become deprived of going to school, thousands of girls with dreams even bigger than mine.
I would like to dedicate the honor of this degree to all brave Afghan girls and women who have never stopped fighting for their dreams no matter how challenging the situation was and will not give up after this as well!
My life was never easy as everyone’s life.
However, I firmly believe that the hardships you face makes your younger self proud of the person you have become now! If you have will, perseverance and faith.
And today, I fulfilled another promise I made years ago to myself… Of course many more to come, Insha Allah.
To my beloved family and relatives, especially my mom and dad:
Thank you for believing in me even when I lost faith in myself! The way your eyes sparkle when looking at me is enough to keep me strong and motivated all my life!
To all my Professors, Friends, colleagues, and all fantastic people around me:
Thank you for all your support and love! I could not have reached today without you!
“My life was never easy as everyone’s life. However, I firmly believe that the hardships make the one you used to be proud of the one you are now! If you have will, perseverance and faith.”
Seeing your congratulations messages and posts in a couple of days made me feel and believe again that this accomplishment was not only for me but for each of you who never withheld your love from me.
Special Note***: The necklace I am wearing is a gift given to me by my advisor Professor, Prof. Kim Diana Connolly, which was gifted to her by her parents years ago on her own graduation, and now she has gifted it to me…❤️
And mentioning this can summarize all her support and love for me, which otherwise I could write pages and pages.
I started my Master’s degree at the State University of New York- University at Buffalo School of Law as a Fulbright scholar in August 2021, when back in my home country, Afghanistan, dreams were shattered; My homeland was bleeding, and therefore my heart was.
However, UB became my second home, and the UB community became my family. The amount of love and support I received from my Professors, Law school, the UB leadership, and my friends never let me feel alone!
Much Love and thanks to the wonderful UB family!
Writer Farida Razaqi is a Fulbright Scholar, Environmental and Natural Resources Conservation Activist, Independent Researcher.