I call them "blue ghosts".
I see women or female children whisking by like ghosts in the daytime; most, it seems, are heavily clad in heavy blue robes. Their heads are covered and their faces are hidden: all you can see are their eyes. Deep, dark-brown searching eyes.
I know that it is not uncommon for the women to be covered: according to Islamic law it is forbidden for a woman to show her hair or her entire face, even her arms, neck and legs: everything must be covered excepting for the eyes or the top of their noses.
I try to make conversation with the women, but they duck their heads as if slapped or shamed, and they run away hurridly, in order to get away from me or others of "my kind". They do not trust foreigners, particularly Americans.
I wonder why women or femele children have to be hidden. To me, I see nothing wrong with them or the way they are; however, according to law, a woman or child is second only to man: they even rank below animals, and if they displease a man, they will be severely punished, possibly even killed, if the "crime" is bad enough.
For example, a woman caught gossiping might have her tongue cut out of her mouth. Or a woman looking at another man could be purposely set afire or have hot, boiling oil poured upon her, so that her face is disfigured for life, and then they are considered "outcasts". Or worse, they might even be murdered by their husbands, fathers, or some other male counterparts.
Life is very harsh here in Afghanistan, but for a woman or a female child/adolescent, conditions are far, far worse, as I've come to discover.
Just last week, I saw a group of men gang-raping a girl about ten years old. They were extremely rough in their handling of the child as she begged and screamed for them to stop. Blood was everywhere, and they didn't even seem to care until they felt that their job was over. The child was then left to lie in her own blood and several hours later, she died after she'd bled to death because nobody had come to her aid. The sight of such brutal savagery sickened me and it made me hate these people even more deep inside.
I wondered what the young girl could have possibly done to warrent such barbaric treatment. It made me want to cry.
Suddenly I want to go home back to America more than ever, but since I joined up with the Marines and have a job to do, I cannot leave until it is finished. Therefore, I have to put up with such indignity for a while longer and try to keep from wanting to kill these bastards who treat females so cruelly. It doesn't matter if the females are infants, little toddlers, preschoolers, school aged, teens, young women, middle agers, or even elderly: in their eyes, women are not to be trusted and are given third rate treatment.
I know I wanted to help my country and to help these people here, but if I see any more injustice being played out against women of any age, things just might end up getting ugly, and I won't be responsible for my actions.
~To be continued.~