Seamus Murphy

Kabul, Afghanistan

Ogai Amail, 40, left, with accomplished fellow poet, 55 year old widow Gulalai Omerkhel, at their shared home in the Microryan District of Kabul. They both belong to Mirman Baheer, a female literary society with roughly 100 members in Kabul, where they meet openly on most Saturdays. Outside Kabul, there are as many as 300 members in the outlying provinces. Exact numbers of members are impossible to come by, since the society operates in secret by necessity. "Many of our members write under pen names", Amail, who serves as one of the group's two secretaries and the de facto den mother, says, "It's safer for them."

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Seamus Murphy
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