Afghanistan: What Now?

Afghanistan: What Now?

Madiha Haideri (9th), Editor

Considering everything that happened in Afghanistan this past year, it will be accurate to say that the country is in a great peril. For background information, feel free to read my articles, “7,466 Miles Worth of Difference” and/or “Afghanistan: A Game of Dominoes”. 

With the constant fear of the Taliban hanging on everyone’s head, the Hazara people tried their best to flee their country. However, only a lucky few made it out because the majority of the “slots” were given to the Sunni people. The reason for that: simply because Shia Muslims (Hazara people from a significant branch of Islam) is the minority. 

Along with everything else, the Taliban has taken over even the economy of Afghanistan, leaving certain people with no sources of income. For instance, Shia Muslims. With no sources of income, several families are facing imminent threats like starvation and poverty.

In western Kabul, which is populated mostly by Hazara people, 8 orphan kids were found dead in their homes. Their father had died due to brain tumor and paralysis, and their mother died soon after finding out about her spouse’s death; leaving behind their 4 daughters and 4 sons, ages 11 to younger than 3, to die of starvation.

On the other hand, the news channel “The Brief Bulletin” reported the death of a volleyball player by the hands of the Taliban. The caption read, “Member of the Afghanistan women’s youth volleyball team, Mahjabin Hakimi, has been beheaded by the Taliban in Kabul.” While she was given an early death, her family was threatened not to speak about it. Eventually, her death was reported in late October, but the exact date of death remains unknown. 

All the while, families are forced to sell their daughters away just to put food on the table. Abdul Malik sold his 12 year old daughter to be able to provide food for the rest of the family. Not being enough, months later, he sold yet another one of his daughters to a 55 year old man for the same reasons. With his country in the condition it is now, he didn’t have a source of income and was forced to do this. Otherwise, who would even imagine selling their kids for food? For any outsider, it’s impossible to imagine what kind of situation he had to be in to do something so harsh to his own blood. In such desperate situations, ANYONE would do ANYTHING. 

These are just a few examples of what people, especially Shia Muslims, are going through since the Taliban’s takeover of their country. If things continue to roll this way, the Shia Muslim population, already being a minority, might just go extinct. 

It is said by the United Nations Development Programme’s Asia-Pacific Director, Kanni Wignaraja that, “Afghanistan pretty much faces universal poverty by the middle of next year, that’s where we’re heading — it’s 97-98% no matter [what]…” 

The takeover brought with it political instability, which was worsened due to the pandemic. With the U.S presence for 20 years, the Afghanistan economy was getting back on its feet, but the takeover has caused it to collapse yet another time. For how long should the Afghani people suffer for anyone to do something? All it takes for us is understanding and recognising this issue as a genuine problem- not that it’s not already the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. We won’t lose anything by reading/writing articles, watching the news, spreading knowledge about this topic, educating our friends, forwarding information on social media accounts, but the people in Afghanistan can lose everything if we don’t.

Awareness is key.