A few months back we wrote you a brief update about the House of Flowers. Today we have additional news about some life milestones occurring within the House, encompassing both ends of the cycle of life:
There once were two brothers, Ashraf and Hekmat. They were smiley and sweet boys whose father had died and whose mother was destitute. They were brought to the House and grew up there. In their late teens, after about 8 years in the House, they moved back with their mother and began working and continued studying. Ashraf, the older one, was 23 by now. After finishing high school he began working as a mechanic and a driver for Nestle Company, and enjoyed body building.
In July of 2018 we received the awful news that Ashraf had been killed in a motorcycle accident while on his way to work. The staff and children of the House, as well as ourselves, have been devastated by this loss of one of our family members. It is also a huge loss to Afghanistan, the loss of a kind, caring, and hard-working young man at a time when such people are so desperately needed in Afghanistan. We were very proud of him and what he was doing with his life.
The teachers Fatima and Razia along with Nik Mohammad went to visit Ashraf’s mother and pay their respects. They then went to see Hekmat at his workplace. They visited again a week later to check in on Hekmat and his mother and offer support. Hekmat, the younger brother, continues to work as a mechanic while studying pharmacy at night school.
Then in the midst of this, we received more news, this time about Shukria. We opened the email and were thrilled to see a picture of Shukria – with her beautiful new baby boy! Shukria had entered the House at age 2 ½ and grew up there with her sisters Nadia and Razia, who both went on to university. (Razia is now a teacher at the House of Flowers.)
Shukria, who was always a charming, adorable, and very clever girl in the House, has grown up and is now the new mother of her son Mohammad Yaser Jan. (Maybe teacher Fatima, who essentially helped raise Shukria, feels like a proud grandmother!) Shukria has asked that her picture not be posted, but this is a picture of her son in her arms.
Coming Full Circle Thus the House of Flowers continues to be the locus of all aspects of life for these Afghan children and their families. It is where they grow up, learn, love, gain family, receive support, and contribute to their society while sharing the ups and downs of life, even after their time living in the House. All of our lives are linked inextricably to theirs. We mourn and celebrate together.