Hailing from a war-suffered country, I have always longed to explore all the sides of the coin that are; the one obliterated by the severe conflicts and the other side that has been remained folded, yes, I mean the beautiful landscapes of Afghanistan, but the nightmares of insecurity; especially suicide attacks, abductions, and bomb blasts were the reasons that slowed me chase my dreams. Every Afghan has an untold frightening story of their experience, in the shape of being a victim or losing a loved one.
I also have a memory which I will never forget. It was October 2018 when all the schools were off for winter break, I was planning to make a schedule for myself to review and read my books for the upcoming class. After the first week of winter break, I got an invitation to attend the wedding ceremony of a relative in Kunduz.
I was overwhelmed and got a chance to visit Kunduz, and was considering it an opportunity to visit my hometown and meet my relatives. After getting permission from my parents to attend the wedding party. I, along with my cousins left for Kunduz. The night before that was exciting, I spent much time packing my luggage for the long-awaited trip.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we happily started our journey. I had a lot of fun because I saw beautiful places and stopped our car in many places to take pictures and to buy some snacks and juice. We also stopped at a famous hotel for lunch and ate Afghani traditional food such as: (Qabuli-Polaw, Pacha, Shurwa, and Seekh kabab). We resumed our journey and reached my elder uncle’s house which was very big and beautiful. As per Afghan traditions we visited so many places and met our relatives, and everyone was so happy when saw us. After the 2nd day, the wedding ceremony arrived and I prepared to get ready and go to the wedding hall.
I was so excited because all my close friends and relatives were there at the wedding hall. Kids were playing and running all around the hall, adults were waiting at the door to welcome the guests and teenagers were assisting adults. Everyone was waiting to see the groom, when the groom came in front of the stage and stood with the bride all the girls and women were dancing and singing folk songs like (Pa Bismillah Qadam Rawakhla Shaista Nawakai), meaning Oh beautiful bride step forward with care for starting your new life. In the men’s hall, people were doing (Attan) Afghanistan’s traditional cum national dance.
Evening approached, and we started to pack back from the wedding hall to home, everyone was tired yet happy. Due to the security concerns that we were aware of was the reason we were changing our places time by time. I went to my uncle’s house, the rest was also scattered.
We arrived and were in my younger uncle’s house with my cousins and friends. That night after having dinner, my two cousins and I fell asleep. After a few minutes suddenly my cousin switched the light on and said that the insurgents had barricaded our relatives’ house which was not that far away from my uncle’s house.
It was a wedding house where my best friend was there and suddenly I felt that he was the target God forbids because he was the one working with the Government in an executive position. Since the insurgents are of the belief, whoever works with the Government, are infidels.
They searched a lot to abduct/kill my friend. When the Taliban came into our relatives’ house, someone shouted that insurgents were right there, my friend heard and suddenly jumped down and entered another room. Fortunately, the house was big, therefore the insurgents could not find my friend. He then called his friends and the police. Within 10 minutes the police arrived and started firing when the insurgents heard the sound of firing, they escaped.
My friend was evacuated and was taken to a safe place to spend the night there. Early in the morning, we came back home and decided to leave for home. This shattered our plans of staying in Kunduz for two weeks.
This incident changed my mentality and outlook about the security of Birth country Afghanistan. I, for the first time, realized what such an incident means. henceforth, I did not enjoy the announcement of any causal closure of my school for security reasons. Such closures of my school was a horrifying hint for me after this horrible experience.