Afghan New Zealander, Wida Tausif, was born in Afghanistan in 1992. Her family fled to Pakistan and lived in Peshawar for 9 years. Life there was uncertain, and they registered with the United Nations High Commission to find a safer place to live. Encountering many hurdles along the way, they were eventually granted residency to New Zealand, which Wida felt was ‘the furthest part of the world’… she has since moved to Melbourne.
Wida has a very real talent for writing about her homeland and her many emotional experiences. She puts into words the often traumatic and difficult transition from Afghanistan to Peshawar, Peshawar to New Zealand and eventually to Australia.
Wida’s main goals in life are to ‘bring light in my people’s heart and keeping our Afghan culture alive’ by writing and becoming an official representative of her beautiful country.
Wida does this through her beautifully deep crafted poetry.
Bernadette Hall, a well-known NZ poet, said of Wida’s poem, "My Sweet Afghanistan" ‘…reminds me of some of the work of South American liberationist poets, like Neruda and Vallejo’. This same poem was nominated in Canterbury during National Poetry Day (competition) 2010.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
If I am not mistaken, the first story I read was back in Pakistan about a brother and sister going to school and their friend being a parrot. It had quite a big impact on me, where it was more seemed real. Every time I read the story, I would think of myself and my brother as the characters in the story and it would make me feel more happy and positive about school.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
“The freedom writers diary” – The story is very inspiring and the experiences of the teens described in the book is just heartbreaking, it inspires you to continue writing. “I am not Esther” – Another great story that makes you want to read the story repeatedly. The reason I really like this story is because what the character has faced is similar to what people face in some of our societies. I found it very fascinating to read. “Cinderella”- Since Cinderella is the first Princess book I have read in my childhood years, it stays my favourite as it also reminds me of my childhood years back in New Zealand. “The flying Carpet” - The book which is based on a flying carpet became one of my favourite books a few years back. The reason I love this book so much is because I enjoy reading books that involve settings of countries from the around the globe, for example this book involves the character travelling to middle eastern countries. “The three little pigs” – The first book I read to improve my English and this book seemed too easy and simple for me to read than any other book while I was in my childhood.
Princess Mary of Dreamatica dreams of becoming a famous singer, but her father, the King, is against it.
He wants her to live and act like a Princess.
Can Mary hold on to her dream and keep her Father’s love?