I am a girl. I am nineteen years old. I am from Kabul. I am from Afghanistan. I started school when I was a young girl. I wanted to be an engineer. I wanted to build my country.
In August 15, 2021, I was shocked by seeing the white flags on the national army vehicles on the streets in Kabul city. I saw the white flag on the presidential palace on TV. By dragging down the Afghan national flag with three beautiful colors, our hearts cried loud. It badly effected on my mind.
In fact, no one believed that Taliban could take control over the biggest city in Afghanistan where there were thousands of troops with tight security. Many people said that it impossible that the capital of Afghanistan collapsed without any operation.
Someone said that it was right news. The neighbors with tears on their faces were telling us that Taliban are in the city center. We locked the doors behind. We stopped what we were doing. As a young girl for the first time I was experiencing a big tragedy that I just heard it by name before, the first day of Taliban.
We thought that it was the end of the long war but a new season with the biggest battle was going to begin and our enemy behind our doors. No one could do anything except staying at home and following the news on television. Our hearts were beating loud but no one could hear them. Our eyes zoomed at the TV screen and rolling from one side to the other. Everywhere was quiet and every street empty. Every door was shut.
My friends are so depressed now. We are a group of girls and we are best friends. I am worried about them and myself. There is a girl in our group, she is an athlete. She has been going to Woshu club for years. She prepared herself for a big competition. She is a powerful girl. She has many medals. The club is so proud of her. Unfortunately, she has to stay at home. She missed the chance to be a champion. I also go to the same club but I can’t go anymore.
One of the girls from our group got the chance to go to Qatar by American plane. She is happy to save her life but we are trapped in Afghanistan.
Two young men who were studying the fourth semester of medicine in Kabul university, abandoned everything and went to Iran. They left Kabul on August 15th. If there were really peace and freedom in Afghanistan, do any people forget their fourteen years studying for working in Iran as labors? For sure the answer is a big NO. They understood that Kabul is under Taliban’s control and there is no chance and hope for them anymore. Their father did not want them to leave home but the boys insisted to say goodbye. Finally, their father sent them with crying eyes. He said, why do you leave me alone?
During 20 years we worked hard and many nice people sacrificed themselves for their country. We got many orphans, many women lost their husbands, many mothers and fathers last their sons in the battlefields. Many people became disabled by horrible bomb blast. But suddenly everything has been changed in different ways by coming Taliban. There was not war in Kabul city but the faces looked like coming from battlefield.
Now a beautiful city like Kabul where we could see men and women walked down to the city center which made it a colorful city, is like a ghost city after Taliban arrived. We cannot see any old women going for shopping, young women going to work, even the little and happy girls with their beautiful bags running to the schools.
We can see some ladies with long dresses or Burqa on the streets. The city looked strange and the people walked slowly. I grew up in the same city but it is like an unknown place for me now. When I went out with my long dress with my family for the first time, the men seemed like wolves to me. I used to walk happily on the same streets with my normal clothes before and had fun with my class mates but there is no more happy time.
The people are silent when I look at their eyes, I feel their fear. Is it possible to have a normal life? Coming Taliban is so hard than the first time. We as girls got the pleasure of freedom, democracy, development and education. We felt like the birds out cages but now we are in the cage again.
Many people do not want to go back to the cages that’s why they are trying to get out from Kabul airport to unknown destinations. I was shocked when I saw the crowds in the airport around the American military aircraft on TV. The people were running and shooting. Some of them even sat on the aircraft’s tires. It was unbelievable that the airplane took off while some Afghan people still holding the part of the plane. A few people fell down after the aircraft was in the sky. It was like the Titanic movies to me. But there is one difference, in this film the children and women had the chance to be rescued first but in Afghanistan life is not matter. The people who left Afghanistan I wish them good luck but what will happen to those who left behind?
As a teenaged girl I think this is the end of the world for me but I do not know how get back to a normal life. What should I do with my dreams that I had when I was so young?
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Roya Shuja is a writer who writes for women's rights, especially for girls and women in Afghanistan.