Less than five months have passed since the Taliban took power. It was August days when The fundamentalists entered Kabul victoriously and the Westerners rushed out of Afghanistan. By foreigners, by diplomatic personnel, and by anyone who has managed to set foot on any plane taking off from Kabul. Someone even set foot in the cockpit of the plane. A few mothers literally threw their babies into the arms of any Marine outside the embassy wall.
However, it did not prevent Jorge from returning to Kabul. He had, and still has, a mission to accomplish and had returned a few days ago to Afghanistan. To be more precise, we should say in which What has become of Afghanistan?. But the description of those who remained does not correspond to reality.
“They didn’t tell me I would see more on the street than I knew. For example, there are countless girls who do hard work. I’ve seen them with beams or big stones over their heads. There are no more women around. A lot of people camp out. On the side of the road crowded with selling carpets and dishes. They place goods on rickety tables and wait for customers to feed their families. They also sell shoes, all of which are absolutely unmatched.” But in a country in such an utter abyss, who could think of rugs or crockery?
The official’s account does not stop: “According to many, everything is quiet here. Poverty and all the rest do not seem to be present in their descriptions.” Jorge can hardly believe his eyes but the future does not frighten him. He has had very difficult years here (he has worked for two other organizations in the Afghan capital) and is making an effort to look forward. “I’m certainly not new to Kabul – he continues – but I wasn’t prepared for what I found on my return. There is despair, uncertainty, and perhaps most of all, resignation. I kept in touch with my Afghan friends and colleagues who stayed here while I was away. Many tell me that they are used to the difficulties, and that they will also somehow overcome them. Others may have already despaired. They don’t: they say “we are Afghans”. And this answer should suffice.”
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