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Life under Taliban Rule; End of Summer in Bamyan – part 2

The next day, when Ashraf Ghani fled and the Taliban took over the presidential palace, I and thousands of other citizens working in military, civil and private institutions lost our occupations. People in every corner of the city were talking about a possible famine and starvation. Everyone was asking, what would happen?
As the Taliban took control of Kabul, a Taliban member who had previously threatened me on Facebook, sent me a message, threatening: “I will find you.” Another said in a message: “Do you see the speedy conquests? I will find you wherever you are.”

I was very active as a journalist. My Facebook account had become a source for friends with thousands of followers.
Despite these threats, and after losing my job, I was no longer able to pay the house rent and had to move to Bamyan province, where my parents live. I rented a truck. At night, we packed and loaded all the stuff.

I moved to Bamyan the night the last American troops left Afghanistan and the Taliban celebrated their victory by Arial shooting. I was loading the truck when the shootings started. It was so terrifying as if Kabul had turned into hell. It appeared in a way that all six million citizens were taking up arms and firing.
I loaded my stuff and scheduled to spend the night at my uncle’s house and move to Bamyan the next night. The next day, we went to Bamyan with four members of my family. A trip that was already accompanied by a lot of anxiety and panic. Passing through Jalrez, which is known as the Death Valley, was like passing through Haft Khan-e Rustam (the Seven Labors of Rustam). We started the trip with fears and panics. When we passed Maidan Shahr – the capital of Maidan Wardak province and the beginning of entering the Death Valley – our deepening fears were felt more and more. Although I did not expect a Taliban checkpoint; We encountered the first one.

A member of the Taliban forces, dressed in white and has just celebrated their victory with joy and excitement, asked: where are you heading to?
Bamyan, I said.
Why? He asked.
Our home is in Bamyan. We went to Kabul to attend a wedding ceremony of our relative, I answered.
Don’t you run away from Kabul? He asked.
Where should we run to?! I answered.

This was the most honest and desperate answer I gave to that Taliban member at that moment. There was no way, no place to go. Now, the Taliban dominated all the cities.
I was terrified when he asked those questions. This dialogue between a ruler and a subject lasted less than 60 seconds; but for me, seconds were passing like centuries. It was as if it did not pass due to my stubbornness.
When I arrived in Bamyan, the situation in the city was calmer than in Kabul. The city was less lively. We did not stop in Bamyan and moved towards the Yakawlang district. We reached “Bariki Shahidan” – crossroads of Saighan and Yakawlang districts. When we reached the gate, we faced an armed man in uniform. I am not sure whether he was a member of the Taliban. After questions and answers, we continued on our way.


Rasoul Shahzad - DID Press Agency

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