Places I May Never See Again
On August 15, 1400, the last province to be surrendered to the Taliban by our traitorous leaders was Mazar-e-Sharif. However, I still hoped that Kabul might not collapse. Early in the morning, my siblings went to the nearest bank to get money, and I was going to university. Although I was afraid of the recent events and that the Taliban might take over Kabul, I still did not face this fear and prepared my black tent and black bushes with my black steel shorts. When I ran out of my room, my sister and midwife’s daughter told me to wear a black hijab because the Taliban would enter the city. I said I would not give the Taliban the right to give me a cover that they wanted and I kicked them out of the house.
On the road in the car, the confused and fearful faces of people showed the current situation in the country. There were men in many cities who welcomed the arrival of the Taliban because it meant more hijab for women. Although I was fragmented from the inside, I did not control myself and started talking to one man from the car, who was apparently a displaced immigrant in one of the provinces. I also said without paying attention that the Taliban are not going to deal only with women’s heads and hair. It is not good that they force you to pray without ablution or coercion. You are a man and you do not have the ability to fight against the Taliban, then you want to use the feet of women to justify the lack of hijab?
All the passengers of the car were drowning in silence. They were amazed to see a woman with such a trembling and frightened voice saying such things at this time. A young woman was sitting to my right, and she said to me, “What do you mean by this?”
I arrived at the university with tears in my eyes and one of the security officials warned me the situation was not good. I did not listen to him.
A state of emergency was declared and everyone fled home. The Taliban entered Kabul from the Paghman district where they had clashed the night before. My best friend was by my side. For a moment we could not control ourselves and we cried. We did not know if we would see each other again. I still do not know. When I left the university, all the cars were parked a few inches away, and I saw the city filled with military vehicles. The driver of the vehicles that were once used to secure us were the police. Behind the Taliban reformers was the fear that had taken over my whole being. I was crying and looking for a way to hide. It was a bad feeling, very bad. I was remembering all the days I went on a very long journey to work and study.
On the other hand, my dress and high-heeled boots made me more scared and I walked slowly. I thought, what will happen to me if a Taliban sees me in that dress?
My friend was with me and she was a shopkeeper. She brought me a bath towel. I never thought that one day I would see a creature called Behnam Talib on all fours. Talib has not changed and I, an Afghan citizen, cannot forget the videotapes of the Taliban beheading the army, police and government employees. Women were flogged, stoned, and forcibly married. A thousand years later, the Taliban is still as bloodthirsty as before.
I was torn to pieces when I saw all the government vehicles in the city. That one day showed the true nature of the government.
And I cried.
When I see pictures of the Taliban in places where I had a world of memories with my loved ones, I get angry and do not want to run away from crying.
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