Swenson completes her trip to Afghanistan with a visit to Mazar-i-Sharif and the stunning Blue Mosque

Pictured above is the burqa shop where Sabrina bought her blue burqa.


(Editor’s Note: Sabrina Swenson, a 1986 graduate of Postville High School, is the daughter of Erma Swenson and the late Marlin Swenson. A world traveler, Sabrina is sharing her experiences of her recent trip to Afghanistan. This is the third of a three-part series.)

Next we flew to Mazar-i-Sharif in the North. This was my favorite as it contained the stunning blue-tiled Shrine of Hazrat Ali, aka the Blue Mosque. This majestic mosque was the highlight of the trip. We arrived before dawn and sat on the cold marble in front of the mosque to watch the sunrise. I thought I’d give my burqa a try to see what it was like for the local women who chose to wear it. I was told wearing the burqa is a choice of the women, not because their husbands want them to wear it. There’s light blue and dark blue. The only difference is personal preference. I was told there are also white ones, however I didn’t see anyone wear them. I was told you see them more at weddings. 

And country after country I find it the same. Although we may look different on the outside and spend our days doing different things, really, beneath the superficial layer, we are all the same. We all love our family. We all want better for the next generation. We all experience a full range of emotions, that is the human experience. There really is no difference between any of us on that deeper level. Not even in Afghanistan.

Read the full article in the March 20 edition of the Postville Herald.