Afghanistan, the country situated in the heart of Asia, with its beautiful and intact nature, friendly people, grand geography, numerous mines and reserves, has experienced much turmoil and was repeatedly raided throughout history. Yet no oppressor ever managed to hold the country under its sway. The intruders –the British, Russians and now ISAF– were either forced out by resilient Afghans or roped into an excruciatingly cost intensive conflict.
When the black Taliban’s regime came to power in 1996, Afghanistan lost its spiritual achievements; Indeed, the defeat of the Taliban was a victory over darkness and fanaticism in Afghanistan, which eventually lead the Afghan youth -who constitute a significant percentage of the population- to reap the most benefits. Within a few years, they gravitated towards new technology and foreign languages.
Belqis Sahar, a young female bachelor of journalism, who was ordered to stay home and was not allowed to go outdoor without a male accompanier during the Taliban rule, narrates an adventure of hers, “I was very ill one day, went to visit doctor and upon returning faced a Taliban fighter who got aggressive after he noticed that I was without an accompanier. He immediately ordered his bodyguard to put me in the car. I had no other option except fleeing the area, and I made it successfully.”
There are thousands of other Belqis, who are haunted by worse memories from this time period, who despise the Taliban regime and are ready to take up arms to fight them like Kurdish girls.
According to the Canada based Centre for Research on Globalization, more than 50% of Afghans are suffering from psychiatric problems most of them are women who were harshly punished, as well as deprived of their basic rights, during the disgraceful era of the Taliban. Despite the severe psychological traumas that Afghan youths have been suffering, they seem optimistic about their future and committed to rebuilding their war-torn homeland.
On the other hand, in order to value the youth’s’ role, the United Nations has marked August 12 as International Youth Day to consider youths’ challenges, as well as their achievements.The day is also known as a reason to investigate their problems.
What is the real will of the Afghan youths?
Rafi Roman, 33, from the Balkh province, who studied engineering, is happy about the signing of the bilateral security agreement between Afghanistan and the United States of America,“We need stability, infrastructure projects, education facilities, roads and hospitals”. Roman further added, “That while young people in the big cities like Kabul, Balkh and Herat are especially focused on economic issues, their counterparts in rural areas are more worried about security, so security is number one”.
Also, Roman is not happy about the withdrawal of the foreign security forces from Afghanistan, as he thinks it’s too early for them to leave the country while extremism is still at large. He further suggests that the Afghan Government provide more employment opportunities, as he believes one of the major reasons some people join Taliban is due to lack of employment.
Hamidullah Mirzad, a Teacher who is currently teaching Afghan Police, says that Afghanistan has got major youth power, much more compared to developed countries like Canada or Germany. He further notes, “I believe in the future of my country and the day will arrive when Afghanistan will be counted as one of the developed countries”. Mirzad suggests the international community should prepare another mission in Afghanistan for a certain period of time as it seems to be needed.
After more than thirty years of war waged largely by political-military parties, it is no surprise that today’s youth in Afghanistan, particularly in the provinces, shy away from describing their movements as parties. They are thirsty for education, peace, and work.
To conclude the story, Afghan youths are famous for their hard working attitude and merit. If facilities and conditions are provided for them, they undoubtedly will build their country. Moreover, if factories are built, education is provided, and the geopolitical situation stabilized, the energetic power of the Afghanistan youth will bear fruit. They will be the winners and will make sure to avoid further conflict in this country.