(Nooria’s Nails (Short feature storty


A draft of Short Story
April first,2008
Sheridon College, Oakville

Nooria’s Nails

By: Dr Yar Sana

Nooria was born in a secular family in Kabul. She never wore a “Hejab”. Since childhood, Nooria was free, secular, and cheerful. She enjoys fashion, make up, has a good taste in clothes, but for celebrations she likes to wear traditional
dresses. Her traditional dresses are very beautiful. Everyone becomes suprise when she dresses up.
In the period of Islamic governments in Kabul Nooria couldn’t dress up with in traditional national custom, because militants hit women without the “Hejab”. She works in the ministry of public construction. The new minister, Mohammad Yasar is from the Wahabi group of Mujahids. The Wahabism is an Islamic political fundamentalist movement, which is financing by Saudi Arabia. On the second day of taking his post at the ministry, he came at the entrance of the ministry building with 50 body guards. He checked the nails of all the women and girls. When he saw Nooria’s long pink finger nails, he shouted loudly and Nooria got scared and her face went as pink as her nails.
“Bring scissors” shouted the minister again. Before his bodyguards brought the scissors, the minister decided to “educate” Nooria. He talked to Nooria in a very tactless and rude manner. “You’re a Muslim! How do you take ablution with these nails like a knife, you’ll get injure on your …” said the warlord minister. This phrase was very shameful for a girl.
Nooria looked down and the minister took the scissors and cut Nooria’s beautiful pink nails. The next day the minister brought 400 “Burqas” (an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions for the purpose of cloaking the entire body) for every woman worker in this ministry. He paid from his own pocket to get them from Allah. The Minister gave out “Burqas” to everybody and he enjoyed, making Allah happy.
The next day the women workers came in one uniform, looking like a military battalion, but

not 400, only half of them. Every day few
er women came, because they were leaving Kabul. Nooria left too; she went to Pakistan. She worked very hard and never had time to return back to fashion or to have large and beautiful nails. Her hands were rough. When she looked at her hands, her fingers and nails, she remembered the soft pulchritude of her
hands, when she was in Kabul. She cried when she was alone. She dreamed about returning back to Kabul or somewhere else to find an opportunity to show her true identity. She knows fashion, she can choose beautiful clothes, she can play with different colors, she can enjoy life, be an eye-catching girl. In Pakistan Nooria’s dreams never came true. In Kabul Nooria worked in an office, now she works in a factory. There she worked intellectually, now she’s working physically. To be an immigrant is a pressure itself, but it’s worse in Pakistan. To be an immigrant without status and recognition
means you do not exist.
At last Nooria’s time of “not existing” ends and she get status, the status of a landed immigrant in Canada. Although she has never been in Canada, just having status is enough for her to feel herself a person, who has power or a country beyond her. Wishes and wills come back to Nooria’s mind and heart. She’s mostly thinking and dreaming about Canada. She dreams about her life, freedom and fashion in Canada. When she looks at her wiry thin fingers and broken nails, she gets disappointed again, “It’s not likely to grow up again”, said Nooria.
During her first week living in Canada, Nooria wants to study in an English course. An Afghan Pushton Kandahar burned girl Shahpayraee is en-charged from Afghan community organization for “helping” Nooria to settle in Toronto. Her face is covered by a black material. All her clothes are black. “Is she going to a funeral ceremony or did her husband just die?” wonders she. Nooria is dressed beautifully as a Canadian. When they walk by the parking lot, they look like opposites, as if has been turned, something upside down, as if Shahpayraee has just come from Sudan and Nooria is the one helping hers settle. The first problem between Shahpayraee and Nooria was the language.
Shahpayraee talk in Pushto, Nooria born and grew up in Kabul she speak Dari (Farsi in Afghanistan), the prevalence language in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan she never needs to speak in Pushto. Then Nooria asks her to speak English and sometimes she keeps connection using the body language. When Nooria asks to speak English, Shahpayraee become aggressive “You have to Know Pushto, it’s our

official language in Afghanistan”, says Shahpayraee rudely. Nooria’s attitude gets a bit serous, “I don’t think about any your officials, my beautiful mother tongue is enough for me, but now I need English.” says Nooria.
The next day Shahpayraee takes Nooria to a basement in a big building, dark and scary.
– “What are we doing here?” asks Nooria.
– “We’ll watch a film and hear lectures, those are necessary for us”, says Shahpayraee.
– Film…, lectures …, murmurs Nooria and decides to wait to see what will happen. Later on some girls dressed like the Shahpayraee arrive and everyone introduces themselves as being from Sudan, Somalia and etc. Even their “Hijab” is the same, but they are from different countries. This means it’s a practice that has formed here, in Canada. How can
be the Afghan and Sudanese girls clothes be the same, if the foreign minister of Sudan wears a “Kafan” (white material for body) while the Afghan foreign ministers are wear ties. Even in Afghanistan women don’t wear the same shape of “hejan” in every province. Is it that in Canada people from different continents are wearing exactly the same kind of “uniform?
Later the reprehensive invites the girls to the hall. First Mullah talks about the benefits of ‘Hejab”, next he shows a film about “Hijab and the benefits of covering the face. After watching the film Nooria is in shock. “If the Hijab is so useful” she says, shouldn’t men wear one too? Our men are always in the first place, when they have priority, so why don’t they accept this? They should use the “Hijab” too” says Nooria.
Nooria comes to her resident lays on the bed, looks at the ceiling to her life from the beginning to the present, in a deep disappointed moment she thinks about her life in Canada. “Oh my god, they made in this free and big country a “little Afghanistan”, a
little Sudan or Somalia for them. If I escape from Afghanistan, what I should do with the little one, here the other side of the earth I’m again there, what happen to me?” she asked herself.

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