By Kevin Martin/Photo editor
Farooka Guahari lost her husband to a country she loves. In front of a crowd of nearly 250 people in Posey Auditorium Tuesday, Guahari, a former Afghan citizen, told a story about her husband’s disappearance and her own experience in the homeland. Guahari, now Coordinator of physiology-anatomy and freshman biology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, searched prisons and government offices for three years before discovering that her husband was killed by the Afghani government.
“I would go to huge ferocious-looking buildings, which were the prisons,” Guahari said.
Guahari says that she would start in the morning and would look all day for her husband.
“I would bring a package for my husband and give it to the person standing at the door,” Guarhari said. “Around 4 or 5 in the evening he would give it back to me and say he’s not here — that’s how I would know he was not there.”
While focusing all her energy and effort into finding her husband, Guarhari neglected to notice an odd motion in her daughter’s arm. Because of the absence of her husband, Guarhari no longer received benefits such as health care. Guarhari’s salary from her university job would not afford medical treatment. In a last effort, Guarhari took her daughter to a military hospital.
At the hospital Guarhari filled out a form saying her husband had disappeared. The results of her honesty were not rewarded.
“They took that form inside and 10 minutes later came out and said ‘Oh, the hospital beds are full,’” Guarhari recalled. “While I was standing there two other people after me got admitted into the hospital. In a country that I thought was my country I wasn’t able to get the treatment for my daughter that she needed.”
While trying to secure a passport to India, Guarhari discovered her husband’s fate in an off-limits file.
“I didn’t know what to say to my children,” Guarhari said. “What I read in the folder said that he was eliminated because he was anti-revolution.”
Guarhari took the news extremely hard.
“My whole stomach was grinding,” Guahari said. “It took me three hours to get back in shape.”
Guarhari says that she has benefited from living in Afghanistan and the United States.
“Today I talk because I’m torn between two nations,” Guarhari said. “A nation (Afghanistan) that provided me all the free education, and a nation (the United States) that provided me all I have, and lifted my family off the ground.”
Patriotism has become a duel idea for Guarhari.
“I love America as my country, and Afghanistan as my country too.”