Saturday, January 18, 2014

War and hope

Are you driving me?
What’s your name again, brother?
Were you the one who is studying at the university? [A year ago to the day, I was in this same office in Kabul.]
What course?
I am studying law.

Wow! What year?
I have finished my second year.
Wha..what made you choose this course?
I finished nursing and worked with the government. I cannot provide for my family from the government’s salary.  I have a wife and five children (three daughters and two boys), and my brother and sister are staying with me.
How old are you?
So you work with us. How do you manage to study and work at the same time?
I am a night driver. I study in the morning.  I [sometimes only get to] spend one hour with my family.
It’s [Friday] afternoon, how come you are driving now?
Oh, I filled in for another for today. I started working for NDI in 2006.
Do you remember GH?
Yes. She was with us.
She now teaches law at the Kabul university.
What do you think will happen when the ISAF leaves [Afghanistan] at the end of this year?
I don’t know.  I was in Kabul during the fighting; before Russia, before Taliban. I did not leave Kabul.
Has the government said which candidate it will support?
No. There is Zalmay Rasul, Ashraf Ghani, Qayum [Karzai], Sayyaf. This [presidential] election has to be good.
Most important than ever.

While working in Afghanistan for almost two years, I arrived in early 2003 and stayed until late 2005, it occurred early on to me that we internationals carry much of the possibilities to help realize the dream of the Afghan people of peace, stability and development.  We undoubtedly shared it with them and we were going to work together for it.

I am back in Kabul after ten years.  Hossain just starkly reminded me of the strength of the reason why I am here. I hope much that I could help him keep and hold on to his hope.

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