Women losing their basic rights, people putting themselves in a situation of risk, holding on to the wings of a starting airplane, and losing their lives in an attempt to run away from their own country. The despair of parents giving their children, babies, to foreign soldiers, in an attempt to save them from having a deplorable life.
So, for the moment it seems hard to understand that after 20 years of war, Afghanistan has its power dominated, again, by the extremist group, the Taliban.
WHAT IS THE TALIBAN AND WHAT IS ITS HISTORY WITH AFGHANISTAN?
Taliban means “student” in Pashto. The extremist group was formed by ex-guerrillas in 1994, at a time when Soviet forces still occupied Afghanistan. Mohammad Omar founded the group whilst instituting Islamic Law, promising peace and security to the population.
The Taliban took over power in 1996 and turned Afghanistan into kind of an Islamic Emirate, rules were established by the Taliban in the name of the Muslim sacred book, the Quran. This reading limited women’s freedom as only being able to leave home in the company of a man, the burqa was obligatory and one was not allowed to work or study. The use of cell phones, drinking alcohol, and playing music are part of the list of prohibitions of the extremist group, all recognized for imposing flogging in a public square.
In 2001, the group directly participated in the September-11 attack against the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. The extremist group also protected Osama bin Laden, at that time the leader of Al-Qaeda. Also in 2001, the Talibā government came to an end after US troops invaded Afghanistan.
However, the group took refuge during the war period and gained strength as it recruited more guerrillas and, after two weeks of American troops leaving the country, in an overwhelming way, the group already dominates most of the provincial capitals.
WHAT IS THE COUNTRY’S REALITY AT THE MOMENT?
After 20 years of war and the estimated 1 trillion dollars spent, one of the promises that helped the Biden Government get elected was to end the wars abroad.
With Biden putting his promise into practice and ending the “endless war”, the Taliban’s takeover faced little resistance and on August 15th, the group arrived in Kabul.
Through Twitter, a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, ordered:
“The Islamic Emirate orders all its forces to remain at the gates of Kabul, not to attempt to enter the city.”
On the night of August 15th, Ashraf Ghani, the Afghan president, left the country and stated through Facebook “The Taliban won”.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
I understand that reading this far, even though we are not experiencing this sea of despair, makes us want to give up even before trying.
But, there are some ways we can make our voice heard and help change the situation that is being lived.
I’ll share some of these paths here:
- Educate yourself about the situation in Afghanistan. Reading here is already a great start but it is not enough. Search for more sources, news, articles, check and make sure they are reliable sources of information.
Here are some:
- Encourage people around you to think about what’s going on, share your knowledge.
The world is connected to Instagram’s superficiality, but we can use this tool wisely and amplify necessary voices, share posts from pages like:
- Donate to trusted institutions:
Afghan Aid (Providing support for families who have lost their homes and livelihoods.)
Sanitary Products for Displaced Afghan Women (Providing period equipment to women.)
Urgent Crisis Relief for Afghanistan 2021 (They support the families of those putting their lives at risk and fighting for Afghanistan and displaced families.)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (They deliver lifesaving aid in areas of conflict.)
- Sign petitions:
Australia must provide humanitarian support to Afghans
Action for Afghanistan
Create safe passages from Afghanistan
- Write to your local politicians, share your vision.
In your letter, you can include a request for them to more easily accept refugees.
AMPLIFY, HELP, DONATE!
AFGHANISTAN NEEDS US!