Since I left Afghanistan six years ago, my journey has given me opportunities to learn, grow and understand other people’s perspective about Afghanistan. Most of what people think is what social media shows them. Otherwise, they would think about Afghanistan in very different ways.

One day someone asked me where I am from. The minute I told him Afghanistan, he asked if I know how to hold and shoot  a gun. I told him of course not. When I asked why he thought that, he said because the people in Afghanistan are Taliban. I felt offended but I tried to understand his perspective. Indeed, it was not the first time that this has happened. I understand how easily social media can cultivate false images, and people can accept judgments that are not accurate.

Afghans are not Taliban, and the Taliban are not Afghans. Taliban are terrorists.

To me, Afghanistan is the “Heart of Asia.” Afghan people, especially women, were at one time educated and westernized. Unfortunately, our developing civilization has been taken away by the period of darkness brought on by the Taliban.

The term “Talib” is an Arabic word which means “student” and “Taliban” is the plural form of that noun.  In my experience the term Taliban has become the most frightening and brutal term in the Pashto language. It emerged in the early 1990s in northern Pakistan, following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. The Taliban are a religious, fundamentalist group that imposes an extreme form of Islam called Sharia law.

This movement first appeared in religious seminaries, mostly paid for by money from Saudi Arabia. The Taliban are the most conservative part of Sunni Islam. They refuse to allow education, equality, and other basic human rights for Afghan people, especially women. The world of the Taliban focuses on domination rather than reason.

The period of oppression by the Taliban was ended in 2000 by the Mujahideen. Unfortunately, in August 2021, the Taliban took over Afghanistan again. As an Afghan, I am shocked how developed and powerful countries can allow terrorists to take over a country such as Afghanistan, in the Heart of Asia. How can terrorists be allowed to rule an entire country?

After the Taliban took over, social media often showed their good side and how much their minds supposedly developed over the years. Unfortunately, none of that is true. Taliban are terrorists and terrorism never cultivates peace and freedom and love for people.

I am very sorry for the girls and children who are still in Afghanistan and live under the regime of terrorism, oppression and darkness.

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