Letters from Kabul #2

Content warning: mention of violence, crime and terrorism

My dear friend!

Afghanistan is becoming hell for women.

It has been more than half a year that Taliban took Afghanistan’s control. They made the situation worse day by day. On their first days, things were silent, they just brought changes in law but cities were not witnessing explosions at least.

Unfortunately, last 2 months were the worst in my life. We witnessed huge attacks around Afghanistan, especially at Hazar’s living areas, target killings and new laws every day.

Actually, in Afghanistan, we witness many terrorist attacks. We really don’t know what peace is like, I am the third generation of war and insecure.

During the last 20 years despite police, military and other security parts there were many explosions but lately most of these were aimed at Shia and Hazara people. These attacks were carried out by various terrorist groups. One of them was Taliban. Taliban is an obvious enemy and killer of people.
woman approaching Taliban in Afghanistan

When the Taliban took power, people thought terrorist attacks may decrease but after a few months more bloody attacks on Hazara began.

18 April, a few hours after sunrise.
Dangerous and loud sound was heard. We were aware by social media there was an explosion in Abdul Rahim Shahid high school in Dasht-e-barche where most Hazaras live. This attack happened when boys came out of school after their lessons. The death toll was very high but the Taliban didn’t allow anyone to approach the scene, didn’t let media to create photos and videos, and didn’t even allow student’s family to help their injured boys in hospital. Taliban treated people very badly. They put all cadavers in one container.

In general, they tried their best to hide the issue. But a few days later another deadly attack took place in Mazar-Sharif. This was also on Shia people during praying in the mosque. It shows that they can’t provide security for people.

Friday evening (6 May)
A news was published on social media that tomorrow Taliban will announce an important issue. With a little speculation, I could figure out what this important announcement was.

Saturday, around noon Taliban’s proclamation was announced. My guess was right. Yes, this  was about women’s role as in previous roles and laws. But more serious and violent. It is full hijab with covering face. But why more violence? Because if a woman goes out without covering face Taliban will arrest her father, husband or brother as punishment.

Before this, the Taliban had imposed high bans on women, like: closing the doors of schools for girls, not allowing women to do administrative and private work, cancelling ladies’ sports teams, and not allowing women to travel without a father or husband.

In the last event, they don’t allow women to drive. With the passing, each day of the Taliban’s government women are losing their freedom and personal and social rights.

But women never accept this prohibition and never remain silent. Women are always protesting on the roads. In the last event, women are also protesting with slogan like ‘hijab is an excuse/ بهانه, elimination of the ladies is the goal‘.  Some men journalists also covered their faces with masks to show their support for women.

Day by day, my homeland is getting more dangerous for women. Especially for young girls.

Nowadays, the Taliban has re-opened universities. (I will cover how the university works in my next letter.)

With love,

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

Letters from Kabul is an ongoing series of 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.