Life Under the Taliban? A Brother and Sister Tell Their Story.-ZellaNews

84

Ahmad, 27, lingered in mattress. He didn’t wish to face the day. His sister Haanya, 20, had no urge for food for breakfast. She appeared out the window, the place 4 Taliban fighters have been patrolling the block, AK-47 rifles swung over their shoulders.

It was Tuesday morning in Kabul, a day after the United States accomplished its army withdrawal, and there was little doubt who was in cost now.

In phone interviews, the two siblings recounted what their lives appeared like on Day 1 of Taliban rule, after 20 years of U.S. occupation. Like many extraordinary Afghans, they have been already making an attempt to discover ways to navigate the new Afghanistan.

“Our life simply two weeks in the past appears 10 years away,” Ahmad mentioned. “For 20 years the U.S. lied to us and mentioned: ‘We are with you. We is not going to go away the Afghan folks.’ Who is with us now? Only the Taliban.”

Just two weeks in the past, earlier than the Taliban entered the capital, Ahmad was a authorities worker. He misplaced his job and entry to his authorities checking account along with his financial savings. His spouse had a miscarriage.

Haanya, a contract journalist, used to roam cafes freely and talked to strangers for her tales. Now, her story pitches are turned down, and she hasn’t left the home in 10 days. Worried about Taliban harassment, her father will let her go outdoors solely with a male family member.

On Tuesday morning, Ahmad ventured out with two pals. Shops have been open and visitors flowed. The crowds that not too long ago mobbed the airport in hopes of leaving the nation have been gone.

But the Taliban made their presence recognized with checkpoints at roundabouts. Few girls have been out alone on the avenue. A pal drove Ahmad to 3 financial institution branches looking for money, however he gave up after seeing traces that stretched for blocks.

When they headed towards a pal’s home in a neighborhood the place a distinguished politician has a house, they discovered that Taliban fighters had blocked entry to the highway. They parked the automobile and walked to their pal’s home, the place they drank tea and mentioned potential exit plans.

Applying for visa to India? Attempting to cross the border into Pakistan? Joining the resistance in Panjshir?

There have been no good choices.

Later, Ahmad mentioned, the Taliban stopped them at two checkpoints on their method to dinner, and requested them the place they have been going, the place they lived and the place they labored.

Stuck at dwelling, Haanya texted Ahmad each hour, urgent him for particulars about what Kabul appeared like now.

Other pals texted him with related questions: “Who is out? What’s the scenario in the metropolis?”

At an almost empty restaurant, Ahmad took {a photograph} of his sandwich and his soda and despatched it to his pals, asking them to affix him. “I didn’t inform them about the waves of emotion hitting me up and down all day,” Ahmad mentioned.

Haanya was stressed. She appeared out the window. She checked her messages on her cellphone. She wandered from room to room.

“I’m in my home, and I really feel like I’ve no dwelling,” she mentioned. “I miss the little issues I used to try this I can by no means do once more: go to a bookstore alone, sit in a restaurant and speak to folks.”

She posted an essay she wrote in Dari to a non-public group for pals. “After 20 years of struggle and bloodshed, the struggle didn’t finish,” it started. “Everything returned to twenty years in the past and we’re again at sq. one.”

By early night Ahmad was again. A pal referred to as him and mentioned she had misplaced her job. They cried on the cellphone collectively.

They heard President Biden was giving a speech. He was asserting the finish of the lengthy struggle in Afghanistan — or, not less than, America’s half in it.

Neither brother nor sister needed to listen to it.

What might he probably say, questioned Haanya, that will make any distinction for Afghans like them now?