د افغانستان لورانی

De Afghanistan Lurani

Daughters of Afghanistan

An in-person, joyful healing retreat for Afghan diaspora women held in beautiful Idyllwild, California.

APRIL 28 - 30, 2023

Your sisters have been looking for you.

Join us for a virtual group program for 6 weeks culminating with an in-person weekend retreat in an indulgent home nestled in nature.
There are 6 spots available. Will one of them be yours?

This program is for Afghan diaspora women who have struggled to find their place in their own community.

Tell me, khour janay, have you ever felt:

Hi, I'm Sara, and I know exactly how you feel.

I’m a first-generation Afghan-American woman. My dad is from Logar, my mom was from Kandahar. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA.

I’m the super tall, openly bisexual, highly intelligent, warm, loving, tattooed, really young khala you wish you had.

I grew up with loving parents and a close family. However, they didn’t know how to deal with the abuse I experienced as a young child. They were doing their best, but didn’t use words like anxiety, depression, or trauma.

Out in the world, I was ethnically ambiguous and did my best to hide among the crowd, hoping to fit in.

It wasn’t until 2001 that people learned where Afghanistan was. Suddenly, there was a spotlight on me and I was expected to be a spokesperson for my entire community. A community that I had turned my back on, and that I felt had turned its back on me.

This led to identity crisis, displaced anger, and contributed to feelings of rejection, inadequacy, and avoidance. For the longest time, I felt like an imposter in every setting I was in.

It's taken me my whole life to make my way back to my own people, and I'm so glad I did.

I didn’t realize that integrating this part of myself was the missing piece to fully heal from so much of the trauma that was passed down to me.

I believe embracing your ancestral heritage will exponentially support your healing from trauma, anxiety, depression, impostor syndrome, codependence, and other things that are feeling “stuck” in your life.

I’ve dedicated my work as a therapist to working with other Afghan women. And I’m so grateful to finally offer this retreat as the most joyful, embodied, healing, and loving gift to ourselves.

What’s included?

The Afghan Women’s Retreat is an in-person, joyful healing retreat for Afghan diaspora women who have struggled to find their place in their own community. The weekend retreat takes place in a calm, idyllic setting and features meaningful workshops, classes, and experiences. 

We welcome other Afghans to facilitate parts of the retreat as well, focusing on different aspects of wellness. It is a weekend of laughter , tears, dancing, sleepovers and storytime that welcomes women who have all held the same fears and fierceness into a beautiful sisterhood.

I can see it now:

  • Weekly virtual group meetings intended to co-create a new kind of community. Meetings are Monday evenings, March 13 – April 17 at 5pm PST. For more information about what to expect in group, please click here. I’ve run this group several times over the past two years, and it gets more beautiful every time.
  • Arrive Friday morning, April 28, in the fragrant mountains of Idyllwild, CA. About 100 miles from Los Angeles.
  • Check in to our spacious and well-appointed house and meet your best friends whom you’ve already been sharing space with for several weeks.
  • Receive gorgeous gift bags celebrating our rich cultural heritage and enhancing your personal wellbeing. If you know me, you know I love  GIFT GIVING and EVENT PLANNING so you know it’s going to be good.
  • Enjoy delicious catered Afghan food by a private chef for every meal. No, it’s not my dad.
  • Participate in meaningful workshops, classes, and experiences with your host (me) and guests focusing on different aspects of wellness. Mental health, movement, and art, to name a few.
  • A weekend of laughter, tears, dancing, sleepovers and storytime, with welcoming women who have all held the same fears and fierceness.
  • Daytime walks in the woods, afternoons in the hot tub, and nights under the stars.
  • Community like you’ve never found before, of all Afghan women. We don’t need anyone else.
  • Take your time checking out on Sunday, April 30. You may even choose to stay nearby for an extra day or two.
  • And after all that, private 1:1 coaching sessions with me to help integrate all that has resurfaced for you.

What past participants are saying…

“I decided YES to this when I met Sara for the first time. I could tell her energy was just different and it felt aligned from our first interaction. My expectation was that it would be fun and somewhat healing experience. The reality was I had so many quick manifestations & breakthroughs because of this experience that I know I could not have had all by myself. ”

“This group gave me new connections, magical moments, collective healing/expansion. I had major sister/friendship wound stuff before coming to this group. I had worked through a lot of it on my own, but being in this group setting allowed me to apply what I had learned in a safe environment. Being able to be honest about my fear of getting close to someone and forming friendships with other women again was something I was very honest about and I did not feel judged for it.”

“As soon as I saw that there was an Afghan women's retreat being offered by a Queer Afghan woman, I knew right away this was meant to be. This retreat changed my life and the way I see myself. This retreat changed the way I feel about myself and my identity. I have learned so much about who I am and the story that is mine. I have felt more connected to my cultural identity and feel a deep sense of belonging. Half way through this group, I chose to get a tattoo of my Afghan grandmother to honor all the Afghan women in my life who came before me. I cherish this experience and will always look back and thank myself for taking this step forward to honor me and my legacy.”

“Literally don't change a thing. From the intentionally picked activities, to the food, to the intimate group.”

“Thank you, Sara. You have forever changed me.”

“This was my first time being at a retreat, but this group space felt much more comfortable and safe. It felt like there was no judgement even when I didn’t have the capacity to show up to group. I think one misconception people might have would be that you need to be a certain “way” to be in this group. Each person that attended this group was so unique In their own style, perspective, look, identity, expression etc. You can “come as you are” in this space. ”

“I would say you are ready for this if you have done some form of healing, trauma work, inner child work before. If you are just beginning the process of looking at your “stuff” (trauma, identity, etc.) that it may be good to first work with another healer or therapist since this is a group setting and it may be a lot for others to hold if this is all somewhat new for you.”

Bahar’s testimonial: Retreat 2022

“My favorite part of the retreat was meeting everyone!!! The way all the free-time was so relaxed made it a lot easier to have informal group therapy sessions where we were all able to just speak our minds and be heard/validated. I actually really appreciated that things weren't so strict, schedule-wise. Those talks were probably the most valuable thing I took away from the retreat.”

“It was a magical retreat. Thank you for everything. It is so appreciated.”

“I love you, thank you for giving me the opportunity to join this group and make friends for life. I don't think I can really express to you how much this retreat changed my life. YOU DID THAT SARA!”

The Retreat Details

November 10-13, 2022

Our past guest facilitators:

Farah

Reiki Master

Farah M. Siddiq

Sound healing and energy work ceremony

Madeena

Artist

Madeena Shafiq

Art + your inner child workshop and painting class

Samia

Dance Instructor

Samia Karimi

Afghan dance class and Attan in the mountains

Our beautiful setting for the weekend:

Get into nature while still having the luxuries of home.

What is the investment?

TOTAL COST OF THE PROGRAM IS $5,000.

This includes a 6-week group program, all-inclusive weekend retreat, and 1:1 private session.

PAYMENT PLANS ARE AVAILABLE.

Most children of immigrants have at least some visible representations that feel like home.

Because of the displacement of diaspora, the disrespected image of Afghanistan around the world, the invisibility and misunderstanding of our people - we don’t have the role models that other communities have.

And no, it’s not me - IT’S YOU.

You are Afghan enough.

I want you to own your heritage. Reconnect to your culture on your terms. Build community. Strengthen your wellbeing. Find joy and celebrate who you are.

We can’t continue our fight without nourishing ourselves.

*A portion of revenue from this retreat will be donated to Afghanistan relief efforts.

Sara Stanizai