Tahera- Rokhshana High School student
Tahera Rezayee is a bright, energetic 9th grader at Rokhshana High School in Kabul, Afghanistan. Earlier this year, Tahera was introduced to peace education and immediately fell in love with the personal stories from HTAC's 'Journey of Peace' book series; designed to help children (traumatized by war and violence) learn how to heal and develop positive attitudes and behaviors aobut peaceful, everyday living.
Tahera's mother knew what her daughter was learning in class because she had received a parent's guide about our peace education program, developed to help parents reinforce the values of peace in the home. But little did Tahera or her teacher know, that her mother was feeling great pain.
Emotionally scarred by the devastation of war and the treatment of women under the rule of the Taliban, Tahera's mother had become bitter and aggressive, unable to engage in conversations with Taher or her siblings, flying into sudden rages of anger for what seemed to be no reason at all, or secluding herself in their home and letting her children fend for themselves.
One day, Tahera cautiously showed her mother the 'Journey of Peace' stories and asked if they could read them together. To her surprise, Tehera's mother connected to the personal stories as she was able to relate to the characters and their tauma as well as the lessons about dealing with anger, sadness and learning to forgive and move on. Most importantly, her mother learned how the families in the stories resolved their conflicts non-violently.
The transformation of Tahera's mother was dramatic. She began listening to her children, praising them, and taking a leadership role in applying the steps to peaceful conflict resolution for all family matters. Tahera herself is overjoyed. "Things are so much better. Our mother is listening to us and we now enjoy talking with her and not being afraid. My mother is happier and we are a family."