Writer: Nadia Fekrat
Four days after the fall of Kabul, I left Kabul with a heart full of grief. The image of that day is engraved in a corner of my mind blurred and sad. It is as if someone is triggering me every moment and vividly reminds me of all the minutes of that day. I have heard from my mother many times about “displacement”. The bitter tales and memories of the Taliban era in which many mothers and women endured the darkness and ugliness of those days. For me, however, the word “displacement” was a new event. I would be wrong to say that enduring those days and experiencing displacement was very much in line with my age and gender. Maybe it is not “logical” at all, and by saying such a thing, I invalidate the lawsuit of all women and girls who have been victims of all the unpleasant moments of their homeland and the dictatorial violence of the Taliban men of this land for years. Because reexperiencing “homelessness” and ” immigration” was not a new phenomenon in Afghanistan and it affected women the most. I mean women and girls are the main victims of conflict.
Eight months of displacement, helplessness, and being away from home and family were as difficult and full of nostalgia for me as eight years. From the ridiculous behavior of the people there to the brutal sadness that had crept into my heart. I spent the days of these eight months reading the five volumes of the book I had taken with me, and I spend the nights dreaming of walking on the Pole Sorkh roads and wandering over the Qorigh Mountains of Kabul. Saying this and reviewing the memories of the homeland is understandable and obvious for all those who have experienced immigration. Being away from the homeland drives me crazy and reviewing the sweet memories of the past drives me crazier.
Now I’m back after eight months. All those sweet moments I had, drew me back here. Every day the love for the homeland penetrated me, which was beyond my control, that is, this interest was strengthened in me and it grew more and more every day. On the morning of our journey to Kabul, I felt as if I had recorded it in the form of a text in my note; (I feel fine. I have a strange feeling, in a way that this transformation is beyond my comprehension but involuntarily goes deeper and deeper in my heart. It seems that this is the only real feeling that belongs to me. And it is separate from all the definitions and praises that are expressed only in words. Now every step that brings me closer to you excites my heart. You are pieces of my being. I lived in you and you seem beautiful despite the dusty sky! My homeland; embrace me so that I can rest in you forever). Yes, I wrote this text the day I was going back to Afghanistan.
I have been in Kabul for more than a week. To be honest, the color and face of the city have completely changed. The laughter of the girls of this land no longer echoes on the streets of this city. Poverty and unemployment are slowly engulfing people, no one speaks about music and art. A strange silence has taken over everywhere as if the desire to live doesn’t exist anymore although there are a few people who are still hopeful and continue the life. I had recently gone to “Shahrak”, where I dreamed of dancing in its mountains. There I saw a large crowd of people who were happy with their families and how meaningful the seconds of that day really were. I was watching that scene, separating this beautiful part of the city from what was happening beyond the mountain. I wanted to separate that beauty and hope from the whole of Kabul and embrace it and put it where it will never be tainted by the despair and ugliness of the whole city. Kabul is now a “nostalgic” city, where the memories of its citizens are buried. Where life was literally beautiful and passionate, and maybe it still is. I do not know, maybe! Dear Kabul, you are a part of me and I always dream of glory in my heart.
Translated by: Ali Rezaei