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The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

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NOV 2021 Issue
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The Art of Eliminating a Nation

Photo courtesy the author.
Photo courtesy the author.

What a pain to hear a young woman cry, a thousand wishes gone. A child weeps for the father he has lost. These children did not choose where to be born. And yet, here we are. They are paying the biggest cost for this war of the world. To be witness to the explosion of a bomb in front of the girl’s school; one can never imagine. Their only crime was the desire to learn. This picture should be a source of shame for the world; it is a pure pain for us.

We Afghan people are on the verge of losing our voice, freedom, cultures, arts, environment, and worst of all, our human rights. The hardest of all pains, losing our country. It was our only belonging on Earth. It was my people’s home. Our heart is there, and it will be there forever. There is no sense of belonging for us anywhere else.

It is extremely difficult for one to lose their freedom. There are no words to express what it means to lose one’s father, brother, sister, mother, children, wife, and whole family, from yet another bomb attack. The loss of innocent students, brave journalists, the couriers of freedom is even more severe.

We love our country from the bottom of our hearts. We never will give up. We will fight for it and we will take it back with or without the help of the world. With all its ups and downs, our heart beats towards that moment. Afghanistan is our home, and we can paint it with any color; if we want to.

Terrorists stole it from us. Some politicians sold a nation. There are those in the world who have only heard stories of loss, and then there are my people, a nation that suddenly saw itself lose everything. Even more bitter, it all happened exactly in a moment when it felt like we could finally see the light, to carry hope, to dare to exist, to be part of the world. But it was all just a fantasy, a hope that should have never existed, a dream conjured by someone resting in the shadow of a willow. The people were lost in this dream, unaware of the political plans, unaware of the evil neighbors, unaware of the insulting indifference of the world.

Thus, in a place called Afghanistan, a short-sighted insistence on the implementation of a dogmatic understanding of a religion creates a space where freedom and resistance suddenly becomes immoral and instead, savagery and bloodshed and fratricide and genocide become pillars of morality. The language of the new mandates has been sealed, the prohibition of “evil” has been written, the eyes have fallen into a deep sleep behind the mask of religion, and the ears have been deafened to hear the pleas. This time in Afghanistan.

How to describe the pain of drowning in a sea of ignorance, the collective that blinds itself? A world deliberately refuses to hear us. They keep their sense of respectability while with numbness and ease they watch us drown. A world that falsely insists that we have human rights, that human lives are valuable, that the education of our girls matters, that women’s equality has to be respected, that we stand against slavery. They all are useless words, nothing in action.

Robin is a villager girl born in 2000 in Afghanistan. She did not choose where she was born, it was not up to her to choose her parents. I wonder if it was right to take her brother away from her and set her house on fire, for her friends to commit suicide and not to let her study because she was a girl, to force her into marriage at the age of 12. Do these little girls forgive the world? Why was all this oppression imposed on the children of my homeland? Why do my people pay for it? What is this polity? And when will this nightmare end?

We are forbidden from listening to music, laughter is a great sin, no one should hear a girl's voice, the Mullahs say. For decades, the world told us of this future where everyone was free to sing and dance, to be happy, to live. No roads full of danger, no refugees, no exile. The paradise we dared to imagine, what a funny joke.

So, this nation, Afghanistan, makes but one last request: Refuse to legitimize this criminal gang. Instead acknowledge the legitimacy of our humanity.

Hoping for the spread of peace, freedom, and equality throughout the world. It is September 21, 2021 as I write to you. Happy World Peace Day.


Shir Mohammad Karimi

Shir Mohammad Karimi, is a 23-year-old electrical engineering student at the Central Azad University of Tehran. He is fluent in five world languages and lives in Tehran, Iran. He is a staunch supporter of open-mindedness, equal rights for men and women, the environment, women?s education around the world, climate change activism, art, technology, and Pop music.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2021

All Issues