Afghanistan is a place where all too often a young girl’s dreams die. But not always.

So it has been with three Afghan friends, whose unrelated cases were all so awful that they are painful to talk about even now that the three are young women, years after the trauma. Each of them escaped a forced marriage as a child, is lucky to be alive, and knows it. Each of them has big dreams — despite what has happened, and because of it.

For one of them, Gul Meena, 18, dreams have already started coming true. Last month she boarded a flight from Kabul to Östersund, Sweden, via Istanbul and Stockholm, accompanied by an American lawyer. It was Gul Meena’s first time in an airplane, first time out of her country, first time that, as she put it before, “I will be free.”

Gul Meena’s first dream was to escape Afghanistan. Her next was to have a television set in her room. She said she wanted to see how her favorite Indian soap opera ends.

Read the whole story from The New York Times.

Featured image courtesy of AP

Veterans and active-duty military get a year of Fox Nation for free. Don’t delay. Sign up today by clicking the button below!

Free Fox Nation for a Year Advertisement

If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting our Veteran Editorial by becoming a SOFREP subscriber. Click here to get 3 months of full ad-free access for only $1 $29.97.