My childhood more was on top of a small hill, in a small village outside the city of Kabul. Every morning, after getting out from under the scratchy, embroidered blankets on my bed, saying a quick prayer to Allah, washing my face, and putting on my clothes and a hajib, I'd walk out of our house and look down on the village below me. I'd watch the hustle bustle of the people about town, watch the birds in the trees, listen to the small stream gushing by our home, smell the early morning dew settling on the grass of our hill. I would walk a little way down the hill, to a group of about ten to twelve trees in a small ring around a pond which the stream paused at the catch its breath before resuming its journey down our hill, to a small confluence of streams originating on other hills around us. I'd sit on a large, flat rock there, watching the brown and white fish swimming around in the pond for about fifteen minutes, before heading back to the house. Then, Papa would take Mama and me to the mosque, where we would join other bourkha clad women with their husbands in our prayer to our savior Alla, and our prophet Muhummad. Morning prayer was always my favorite prayer of the day. Everyone was so awake, was so peaceful and content after the night's sleep, the mosque was beautiful in the brand new light of day.
Our mosque Imam led the prayer, and through the years, as I heard the melodious sound of his voice reading verses from the Koran, I fell in love with those verses. I found refuge, harmony in the pages of the Holy Book, and Allah's words gripped me throughout my child and adulthood years like an embrace from the God himself.