Letters from Kabul #1

Welcome the first in a series of ongoing letters sent to a Circle of Friends member and shared here with the permission of the author. The letters are written by a young woman from Kabul and are corrected as little as possible to ensure her detailing of current life in Kabul is told in her authentic voice.

Content warning: mention of violence, crime and terrorism

My dear friend!

4 April 2022

Weeks ago I received a message from a friend, who lives in north Kabul. She texted me “The Taliban are inspecting houses now. They have raided our house.”

I was shocked and could not imagine why. I was trying to figure out how and why they would do this. This action continued until we understood they wanted to inspect all houses in Kabul.

Every day we hear terrible news, day by day we become more afraid because they enter people’s homes with violence, and behave badly with families.

Before, Afghan citizens had already experienced this kind of inspections in the 90’s, when the Taliban did the same action. Sometimes they were searching for girls for no reason and they took girls with them to unknown places, some of them still lost. But this time it looks a bit different, they want to find documents that could show if you were military in republic government and documents which represent if you worked with foreign NFOs. We hid some of our certificates we got from workshops at university and some documents of my brother which could show that he had been in Europe.

The main reason was to show people their power; it means they can invade your privacy.

After weeks when I came back home from a place where I am learning urgent medical knowledge, I found 7 armed men in our home. My sister, my mom and I were at home. They directly entered bedrooms (the most private place) without permission. They threw all clothes from closets and checked under beds. We have a glory flag of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in our home, which means a lot to us, my beautiful black, green and red flag. They asked who we are and why we still have this flag in our home. They took and burned the flag in front of our eyes and we couldn’t do anything, it hurt. It is hurting.

With love,

* name has been changed for the safety of the woman writing.