Zainab contrasts her mother’s stories of Kabul with how life is now.
My mom’s story about Kabul was quite different from what I had seen for the first time. She gave us a nice and lovely picture of Kabul in our mind. Her portrait of Kabul had belonged to the days before the civil war, almost 40 years ago, when my family had lived in one of the best regions in Kabul named Share-e-Naw.
In her story Kabul was a very safe, beautiful, green and modern city with cultivated and civilized people. Among Middle East countries, Afghanistan was the safest place for women to study and work.
She had some photos of women police, drivers and pilots in her album. My grandmother used to take her and my uncle on picnic every week. One of the memorable places for my mom was Darulaman Road which was one the biggest green areas in Kabul. My mom had a lot of nice and memorable days in Kabul.
Unlike before, Kabul is an unsafe, ruined and undeveloped city with illiterate people who have stereotypes of other ethnic groups. From the years that I have been living here all of the nice photos of Afghanistan have become spoiled in my mind. During this short time, many suicide attacks, bomb explosions and three wars in Vazir-Akbar-Khan, Darulaman Road and Demazang occurred.
Despite my mom’s pictures, Afghanistan is a destroyed country. The streets are full of beggars and garbage instead of trees. Especially her story about trees on Darulaman Road and its beautiful view seems a very old story. My country is the first country in rates of corruption, air pollution, illiteracy and gender-based violence. Almost each part of Kabul belongs to a specific ethnic goup. This is the picture that I have during one year.
2014 is the year that everyone in Afghanistan was waiting for and worried about, and finally 2014 arrived. When everybody in the world was happy about the new year, most of the Afghans were worried about their future. 2014 potentially has many hopes for everybody, but it is a very special year with lots of fears and hopes for Afghanistan: presidential election, withdrawal of foreign forces, signing of the Security Agreement. Karzai is still in power and defies U.S wishes, and is playing with the Afghans’ future. He resists signing the Security Agreement, and ordered the release of dozens of Talib prisoners recently.
We are living here with both fears and confidence: return to civil war and losing of the world’s support or walking into a bright future with international community support.
Nevertheless, my country is experiencing a better situation in contrast with Taliban rule or civil war. Afghans have a long and hard path ahead to live in peace – and my mom’s story has a long way to come true again.