Immigrant Women

Stories of pain and resilience

In November 2019, after 15 years of listening and connecting with the narratives of immigrant 

women, we published a book called “ “Immigrant Women, Narrative of Pain & Resilience” . This book compiled the countless stories of women exploring their bitter sweet experiences in their motherland and their immigration to Canada.


This project would not have been possible without the support of our president Ms. Makai Aref, who was honoured with the Humanitarian of the Year Award for her dedication in helping immigrants.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all who were able to attend last night's official launch of the book "Immigrant Women, narratives of pain and resilience’’. We were deeply flattered and honoured by your presence and your generous reviews of the book.  We would also like to extend our thanks to all those who were unable to make it but sent us well-wishes. The support of the community was deeply deeply appreciated by our team. 

This book has been a work of passion that many worked hard to publish and for this we would like to acknowledge the talented team behind this project: 

We first would like to thank the amazing support and guidance of Hafteh. We are so grateful for the generosity of time and words, shown by our guest speakers, Makai Aref - President of Afghan Women Centre ( AWC ), Caroline Savic - Office Manager representing deputy minister Jennifer Macaronne, Christine Hoang - Delegate representing City Council of the City of Montreal, Sayed Mujtaba Ahmadi - Deputy Chief Embassy of Afghanistan in Ottawa, Judy Wong - Executive Director of Catholic Action Montreal. Special thanks to Victoria Jahesh and the coordinating team for planning, organizing, and hosting such a wonderful event.

Thank you to all the women who shared with us their personal journeys and stories. We are deeply honoured by their trust and support, this book would not have been possible without their bravery. 



I will never forget the date of September 22, 1992. At 4:00 am, with my son, 11-year-old daughter, our one-year-old daughter asleep in my arms, our hearts broken, with tear-filled eyes, we said goodbye to our city that we loved so much going to a place still unknown. We went to Mazar-e-Sharif and from there to Tajikistan. (325-326)


The intensity of the war was increasing. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s forces sent five thousand rockets in one day to Kabul and killed thousands of civilians. More than a third of the city that was targeted, was destroyed. Conflicts and assassinations continued until the two sides negotiated and announced a cease-fire so that diplomats and foreign forces could leave the city. It was then that we decided to leave our home where we had invested and spent more than twenty years of our life. (325)


On 24 August, 2011, Mahrokh had a meeting in Mazar Sharif and after met her brother to go visit her mother. All of the family were in mother’s home waiting to see Mahrokh. A few seconds after she left the car, a horrible explosion was heard in the neighborhood. All windows were broken; walls were fractured. Finally, the threats were actualized… Mahrokh’s car exploded and her 28-year-old brother’s bloody body was in ditch along the side of street. Four others were killed and ten people were severely injured. (225)


I clearly remember that one day before the beginning of the academic year of 1990 (1368 Shamsi) news of the murder of one of my daughter Maryam’s classmates, who was also her best friend, was broadcasted. In the published report, the cause of the death of this adolescent girl was mentioned as being political. After hearing about her friend’s unexpected death, Maryam had a nervous breakdown, and we had to take her to the hospital. Following this, I decided to find a solution before something irreversible happened to my family. I made my decision to obtain passports for myself and my children. The overall conditions were critical and it was not easily possible to get a passport (…). (291)

Afghan Women's Center of Montreal

Head Office: 1857 De Maisonneuve Ouest, Suite 305 

Montréal, Québec H3H 1J9

Nearest Metro : Guy Concordia 

Satellite Office : 1435 City Councillors 

Montréal, Québec

Nearest Metro: Place Des Arts ​

Phone : 514-321-2194 
Email :

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