Be next to me and see,
What has happened to me.
It is over, the trace still in my heart.
No room for me to sleep on this bus.
Withered feet, the dream sunk into the eye.
The police said stop.
Go back, go back.
All then in the train car, just me alone on the tracks.
The rubber boat sank and my heart, hot for Europe, turned cold.
The world slept, only we were awake,
Hungry, thirsty, tired.
We left; it will be more difficult to return.
All this tearing oneself up, for a little bit of rest.
Not my rest.
The rest of my family.
Yasser Niksada, 15, Panshir, Afghanistan, raised in Iran
When I say women, I mean real women,
Those with eyebrows, real noses, and shoulders.
Who belong only to themselves from the beginning,
Who are not selfish and proud of their gifts,
Who love themselves in their simplicity,
And just want to be themselves
And not resemble another.
Those women I mean, when I say women.
The light in her gaze is like the scent of Kobeko*
Her tender hand is incomparably precious.
Her wisdom shines forth from beneath her make-up.
She walks with beauty in public.
The watering mouths of the gawkers do not bother her.
The self-confident, strong woman pursues her gifts and talents.
Some women stay at home, they dissolve
And become water.
And the ones who go out become bread and food.
And when I say women, I mean these women.
Samiullah Rassouli, 17, Ghazni, Afghanistan:
*Perfume named »Mountain to Mountain«
The beginning of life was,
That I did not exist.
There was a mother.
She was my God.
It was an unrequited love.
There was a father.
He was never there.
The body came to rest,
But not the mind.
I was without solace.
The sister wanted to be a mother to me.
But she was tired.
I loved the mother.
I wanted to leave
And I stayed.
I wanted to stay
And I left.
Leaving was not important
And neither was staying.
I was important,
I, who did not exist.
Mohamad Mashghdost, 18,
Bandar Anzali, Iran