Kabul Diaries Part 2: 'Silence in Kabul scarier than bomb blasts'

September 1, 2021
Women in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2019 by Laura Quagliuolo
Afghan women from all walks of life are living in uncertainty. Photo: Laura Quagliuolo

The daily Jeddojehad (Struggle), a left-wing online Urdu-language paper is posting reports from Kabul. Filed by Yasmeen Afghan (not the author’s real name), these reports depict picture from inside Kabul and cover what is often ignored in the mainstream media.

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Posted on August 17, 2021:

The first night under the Taliban rule, after a lapse of 20 years, was a nightmare for Afghan women.

The Afghan women from all walks of life are living in uncertainty and are indeed fearful for their hard-earned rights, soon to be snatched away.

The Kabul residents, especially the women, feel helpless and shocked. They wonder what might unfold in the coming days.

The young Afghan women, mostly grown post-9/11, know about their rights and have lived under a republic. In the past 20 years, the women in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, were part of almost every institution. Millions of girls were going to school while thousands were attending universities.

They were trying to enjoy and take advantage of the rights guaranteed to them in the Afghan constitution. All of a sudden you become invisible in the public. For the past 24 hours, women in Kabul have been invisible. Fear of being targeted has made them stay home. A day after the occupation, Kabul was dead silent.

Fatima, a lady doctor in Kabul, said: “The silence is killing. There is a strange fear in my heart. The silence of Kabul is disturbing and unsettling than scary bomb blasts we were used to. I have not been able to sleep, there is a heavy burden on my heart as the future is unclear.”

Sohila, from Jalalabad, is a second-year student at the English Faculty. She said: “I had to take sleeping pills to sleep as the uncertainty was taking a toll on me. I don’t know if I will be able to graduate from the university.”

Saeeda, who works for one of the government institutions in Kabul while crying stated, “I cannot imagine being confined to the four walls of the house. Studied tirelessly and worked for a better future but now I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

A Gym owner in the west of Kabul city who does not want her name to be disclosed told me while crying, “I have to escape with my 16-year-old daughter. The Taliban already deem we are working for the USA and I am scared they might snatch away my daughter. I have to escape to protect my daughter.”

Hasina Shirzad tweeted, “My sister in Kabul told me, I cannot wear a Chadari (Burqa) and tolerate once more being whipped. We both cried over the phone.”

Haniya, a university student, stated, “As soon as we heard that the Taliban were at Kabul gates, we rushed to the market to buy Burqas so that at least we can stay safe.”

Shukria Barakzai, an ex.MP and ambassador, tweeted: “Kabul and it’s people are in complete shock and trauma. Never knew this game would be repeated and played again that soon.”

Meanwhile on the other side of the border, some elite women from Pakistan are cheering for the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

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