Afghanistan six months on from the Taliban takeover – photo essay | Afghanistan | The Guardian

The adrenaline rush of August may have worn off, but the harrowing memories haven’t faded. It’s been six months since the Taliban took Kabul, the country’s then president and his cabinet fled and thousands of panicked people flooded the airport, so desperate to find a way out that several men tried to hold on to a plane taking off and fell and they died. .

  • food distribution in the northern province of jowzjan. Due to the economic crisis, many people cannot afford food, even though it is widely available on the market.

    already scarred by four decades of war, afghanistan’s rapid regime change has left a mark that will take a long time to process. As the Taliban slowly establish their rule, many Afghans feel lost and confused. With an uncertain future, some see little alternative but to seek a new life abroad, joining a diaspora of more than 5 million worldwide.

    • most people, even in kabul, do not have access to clean water in their homes. Here you can see people filling drums with water for drinking and cooking.

      • tea sellers warm their hands on a cold day in kabul.

        Some of those who decided to stay, or did not have the option to leave, say they will have to give the Taliban a chance, even though the group has not been recognized internationally. however, there is not a big enough opposition, and Taliban fighters have stationed themselves even in the most remote valleys of panjshir, where the last resistance battles took place.

        “We will continue to fight if necessary, we are not tired,” said Ziaul Rahman, a 21-year-old Taliban stationed in Afghanistan’s Logar province. Resistance fighters, whether in Panjshir or the Uzbek-dominated Jowzjan province, say the same thing.

        • ziaul rahman, a 21-year-old taliban stationed in logar province in afghanistan.

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          During the last three and a half years of living and working as a journalist here, I have visited most of the country’s provinces. Since the Taliban took power, I’ve managed to bring many of them back again, learning more about how people in the nation of nearly 40 million perceive their new rulers.

          The Taliban have been accommodating to foreign journalists, a privilege not granted to all Afghan reporters. several have been tortured, beaten, detained and intimidated and have since left the country or are trying to leave.

          To summarize, or even generalize, the sentiment of a place as diverse as Afghanistan is, of course, impossible.

          • destruction is widespread in sangin, helmand, who were previously on the front lines. here, all the houses are destroyed, few have been rebuilt, and people are starting over.

            The data is grim: Last week, Joe Biden announced that $3.5 billion of frozen Afghan funds, including the private savings of ordinary Afghans, would be distributed to 9/11 victims, even though not a single Afghan was involved in the attacks.

            • old city of herat.

              The United Nations says at least half a million Afghans have lost their jobs since the Taliban took power, and estimates that by mid-year as many as 97% of people could be living below the poverty line . most development aid, which financed nearly 80% of the previous government’s spending, has ceased, plunging the country into economic crisis.

              human rights watch has reported executions and enforced disappearances of former government officials, and to this day, many people live in fear and remain in hiding. With the newly appointed all-male cabinet and divisions within the Taliban, Afghanistan’s future remains uncertain.

              • Taliban fighters sitting by the roadside in the Mohammad Agha district of Logar.

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                “As we feared, the situation is getting worse in most respects, a reflection of the Taliban’s determination to crush dissent and criticism,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Revenge killings, crushing of women’s rights, strangulation of the media: the Taliban appear determined to tighten their grip on society, even as the situation becomes increasingly unstable in the coming months.”

                • a boy flying his kite from a roof in kabul.

                  • kabul mandawi market is always busy.

                    at first glance, the changes in the streets of kabul are not too visible. Surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, parts of the city remain bustling. hot, fresh bread-wrapped kebabs are sold on the roadside, and kids selling balloons navigate through heavy traffic. the euphoria following the Taliban victory has subsided, and although the city was flooded with insurgents in the summer, most of them seem to have left. those that remain are checkpoints or work in the newly established government.

                    • Taliban in the streets of Kabul.

                      However, on closer inspection, the city is emptier, although the number of beggars has increased significantly. once the bustling coffee shops are empty; several restaurants have closed permanently. outside the Iranian embassy, ​​long lines of people await visa appointments; They say there is no remedy. In a Kabul maternity clinic, a newborn boy lies abandoned. “His family has no money to take care of another child,” said Latifa Wardak, one of the doctors at the hospital.

                      • An unnamed child lies abandoned in the antenatal ward of Balkhi Rabies Hospital.

                        The trauma of the last few months haunts many, and although Afghans are private people who often choose to hide their emotions, they visibly carry their pain. I’ve noticed it when interviewing people. conversations last longer, because there is a real need to talk and process. over countless cups of green tea consumed, many describe the loneliness they felt after their relatives fled the country. memories of the past Taliban regime are evoked, often linked to present fears. tears are shed.

                        • a man walks on fresh snow in hezarak district of panjshir.

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                            remnants of America’s longest war: a destroyed military vehicle by the roadside in the hezarak district of panjshir.

                            There are also good moments. On a snowy morning, Naim Naimy, 63, from the southern province of Kandahar, said she had traveled six hours to see a white Kabul. “I’ve been looking at the weather forecast,” she said, standing among the trees in a park, soft white flakes melting on her skin. “I love snow,” she added, smiling.

                            In the village of Kan-e-ezzat, as in many other similar fronts, the guns have fallen silent since the Taliban took power. Wardak had been one of the first provinces to see a resurgence of the Taliban after the start of the US-led invasion in 2001, with almost constant conflict over the past decade.

                            • lal mohammad, 48, from wardak.

                              Whenever fighting broke out, lal mohammad, 48, would run through the family compound rounding up his children and other relatives, pushing them into a small, dark, underground stable. they sat in the middle of the manure, crowded and scared, about 40 of them, sometimes for hours, listening to the sounds of bullets and mortars, often in the cold of the night, waiting for the blast to pass.

                              • naila, 10, from wardak, has been having nightmares for months, even now that the war is over.

                                The Kabul-based International Psychological Organization (IPSO) has called Afghanistan a “state of trauma”, estimating that 70% of Afghans need psychological support.

                                lal also admitted to being traumatized. he never sided with the Taliban, but he said he was glad the fighting had at least stopped. most of his family suffered injuries over the years. He pointed to his 12-year-old nephew Sheer, sitting on a cushion next to him, her right hand deeply injured by a shrapnel wound. little help had reached lal’s village. “Foreigners brought us cookies but little development,” he said cynically.

                                “Everyone in this town has lost a family member or been injured. everyone is traumatized and tired. we didn’t want the Russians, or the Americans, or the Taliban. we just want peace. today at least I can tell my children that the war is over.”

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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