Unbroken: the tale of two children at Huma Adnan's Afghan refugee program
The community housing the Afghan refugees, as part of a UNHCR initiative, is inundated with children, often seen running around with careless abandon. Each child is an integral cog in the overarching machinery of history. Each child carries the weight of survival, and the resilience that survival has instilled, within every vein. Each child has a story.
The past is a blur for many. As they settle into the welcoming ambience that Pakistan has to offer, even children find a way to thrive at the UNHCR camp.
Two of these children are Sonia and Marhaba.
Marhaba is an absolute firecracker of a young child. Her exuberance knows no bounds as she speaks without any hesitation.
Marhaba feels a great deal of pride, as she stands alongside the many artisans, boasting of her own skill to create. Indeed, Marhaba herself dabbles in the craft of creating jewelry for Craft Stories by Huma Adnan, and she has assigned a sense of solace to her time watching the designs being birthed to life by her hands.
Marhaba brushes off her past with a laugh, definitive that her present - the moment that will determine her future - is what matters the most. The war-torn land of Afghanistan is a distant memory. Yet, it is a burdensome one. One that struggles to be fought back and laid in chambers of her subconscious mind.
Her focus, now, is on creating and innovating. The crafts she creates double as a metaphor for the life she hopes to build - bit by bit, piece by piece, till it is no longer a pipe dream or a mere sketch on paper - it is a tangible reality.
Where Marhaba creates crafts, Sonia specializes in the art of cooking. Any team member that visits the camp must not leave till Sonia's authentic, absolutely mouth-watering Afghan dishes have been feasted upon. Often seen trying out new dishes at the camp, or perfecting those she has already tried, Sonia centralizes her new life around becoming a renowned cook.
Sonia has never failed to captivate anyone who has ever tasted her food. From visitors to the camp, to foreign nationals who end up placing orders for her food, Sonia has constructed a marriage of skill and entrepreneurship through her love for cooking. She has willed her way towards a tangible business that is in the works - one which will allow people to place orders for her food.
The spirit to create, despite all hurdles and clouds of the past, is present in all the women at the camp. It is this undeniably powerful spirit that makes working with these women all the more rewarding. Their lives are tales not only worth sharing, but also tales that are being dictated by the women themselves, who stop at nothing to create a bright, promising future.