afghan artist

The Afghan Artist



sibling translate escape (2)
hope hopeless knowledge
gain hardship put pencil to paper
draw border recognition
task grant (2) exhibition
ability view (2) depressed
spirit improve dream (2)
attend free (2)





Just drinking a glass of water isn’t easy for Robaba Mohammadi. The sixteen year old was born without the use of her legs and arms. She needs help to do simple things like move from one room to another.

And going outside is even more difficult.

So for most of her life, she has lived inside.

Her dreams became her escape. When her siblings went to school, she couldn’t — so she began to draw with her mouth.

Robaba Mohammadi, Afghan Artist: “Before I started drawing, I was hopeless.

And when my sisters and brothers were going to school, I always said to myself, ‘See they’re younger than me; but they gain knowledge.’

I was so depressed. I was even crying, two or three times a day.”

She still hopes to one day attend school, but for now, puts pencil to paper to draw pictures, that are gaining recognition — not just in Afghanistan.

Her latest works include the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

Robaba Mohammadi, Afghan Artist: “My dream is to hold my art exhibition in the Aga Khan Museum, which is one of the biggest museums in Canada.”

Her younger sister, Shakila, hopes that Robaba’s dreams can one day be a reality.

Shakila Mohammadi, Robaba’s Sister: “Robaba doesn’t have hands for drawing. But God has granted her the ability to draw with her mouth. She’s doing a very impossible task.

And before, we didn’t think she could do it . . . now we are hopeful she can improve a lot in her career.”

Robaba wants her work to give people a different view of Afghanistan than war and hardship.

And she will continue to use her talents to create art that frees her spirit and translates beyond borders.

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1. Robaba can easily cook and eat. True or false?

2. Does she play, shop and go swimming? Would she like to do these things?

3. Robaba doesn’t want to go to school. Is this right or wrong?

4. Was there a point when her live changed? How did cope with her situation?

5. Do you think Justin Trudeau is an autocrat or dictator? Who is he? Is Canada a developed, prosperous, democratic country?

6. What are Robaba’s goals?

7. Will she eventually quit drawing and doing artwork?


A. Do you think Robaba has special natural talents? Are “disabled” people more artistically talented than “ordinary” people?

B. I paint, draw and sculpt. Yes or no? Did you do artwork as a child?

C. Do you have friends or acquaintances who do artwork?

D. Everyone, especially children, should do arts and crafts. What do you think?

E. What will happen in the future?


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