Kabul, life in the city that moved skin in a week

Kabul, life in the city that moved skin in a week

Las escenas diarias de mujeres llorando sin consuelo y de sus maridos haciendo viajes diarios al aeropuerto —incluso varias veces— arriesgándose a los tiros y a los ataques de las patrullas talibanas, que defienden cada milímetro de acceso al aeródromo, describen con nitidez la primera semana de vida del Afganistán surgido de la victoria del grupo fundamentalista. Fawad, mi vecino de habitación en el hotel donde me alojo, explica en un perfecto inglés que se ganaba la vida como analista de información y que ahora no deja de recibir amenazas de muerte. Fawad muestra su teléfono móvil, su cuenta de Instagram y su desesperación por salir.Kabul, la vida en la ciudad que mudó de piel en una semana Kabul, la vida en la ciudad que mudó de piel en una semana

The emails that he teaches, from the United States Embassy, are the same as I received Thursday for the first time and warn that we do not share this information about the risk of our departure from the country being even slower.

Photo gallery: the changes in Kabul

His experience is similar to that suffered by thousands of Afghans these days with a legal possibility of abandoning Afghanistan, but without real ways to reach the airport due to the chaos that reigns in the area.Fawad has all the ongoing papers, authorizations for him and his family, but for the fourth consecutive day it has been impossible for him to access the airport entrance doors.There, the crowd is received with bullets by the same taliban patrols desperate to control the entrance.

The situation is also these chaotic days in the embassies of the United Kingdom, of France, of Australia, of Canada...There are tails of two kilometers of people waiting under a scorching sun - without water, without food - the possibility of being processed their visas to be able to leave the country.International authorities claim not to be able to do more due to lack of personnel.


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Despair is aggravated in the places where the tens of thousands of displaced people are concentrated, who arrived in Kabul fleeing from the Taliban from cities such as Herat or Kunduz and who have now been trapped again.They are distributed in numerous improvised camps in Kabul.In one of these there are about 60 women who worked as police officers and who now, without uniform, try to hide from the Taliban, that they do not know what they worked on.

In the fields of Park Shari and Sarai Shamali, the testimonies of women who say they prefer to die more days, overcrowded, men and women mixed, with a temperature greater than 40 degrees are multiplied.The concentrated ones take refuge under plastic roofs and sleep in broken carpets, with water scarcity and without electricity.There are families who have come to distribute food and have ended broken glass and broken mirrors in their trucks and run away with fear that the crowd asphyxi in the urgency to get food.

Kabul, la vida en la ciudad que mudó de piel en una semana

In the streets of Kabul, also the Taliban, despite being the winning side of this war, they are sometimes prey to bewilderment.We have seen some completely lost men patrols asking each neighbor as directions and areas of the city.It is seen that for the vast majority it is their first time in Kabul and are completely amazed by some comforts they had never seen in their villages.They are fascinated by sports cars and are photographed with the few mercedes or other high -end cars they find.This battle is not like the ones that established in the mountains, which characterized their skirmishes so much with the Americans.

Banks do not work since last Monday, and ATMs are empty of tickets.Nor can you pay by credit card.There are rumors that they will open next Monday, but nobody knows it with certainty because rumors also circulated that they would open on Friday.Meanwhile, we go without money, leaving everything to duty.

Another focus of interest is the blue mosque of the Shiite community of Kabul, which celebrated an afternoon of this week on the day of the death of the magnet hossein, the grandson of Muhammad.This is especially venerated by the Hazara ethnicity, which has been recently attacked by Taliban militias, staunch enemies of Chiism because it is considered a heretical current.In fact, Amnesty International (AI) denounced on Friday the murder of nine men from the Hazara ethnicity at the hands of the Taliban after taking the province of Ghazni last month.

Since I get to the mosque, fear feels.The IMAM receives us with tremendous kindness, inviting us to shelter under the staff of the staff.Then numerous groups of Shiíes begin to arrive who, challenging the prohibition of making demonstrations, are even armed to venerate and shout for their beloved magnet hossein.Seeing me taking photographs spread the alarm.Many ask me questions.The first is about my nationality.I already got tired of explaining that I am Chilean, a long country in South America attached to Argentina: every time I pronounce the word America it seems that the eyes of those who ask are filled with rage.As always happens today in much of the world, the fame of Spanish football clubs is so great that I do not hesitate to answer that I am Spanish, from Barcelona.The problem is solved.The fear of the population before my camera is justified.A photograph can put them in danger."We are doubly sad.Today is the commemoration of the battle of Kerbala, where our imam died, and today our history, our city, our neighborhoods, traditions and culture are again threatened by the Taliban.It is preferable to die than living its oppressive rules low, ”explains a doctor who prefers not to reveal his identity.

The previous day, the visit corresponded to the Sijs.They also feel threatened and ensure that almost 5.000 members of this community have abandoned Kabul shortly before the entrance of the Taliban.They already suffered two attacks last year.And this thriving community of more than 10.000 people are reduced today to less than 500 faithful.It should be remembered that the first Mogol empire ruled India almost 300 years and that the first capital was Kabul, before the successive rulers transferred it to Acra.That is why there has always been a relationship with India that is currently fully threatened.

History and tradition

Today, in this city full of history and tradition, even weddings are sad.Before, a marriage was synonymous with party, dance, waste.This week I was invited to a wedding in which no one danced, in which everyone was afraid, fearful.It seemed a funeral more than a wedding.

On the street is the same.The strident music that sounded sometimes from the radios of the shops has usually left.In many stores, to avoid problems - among other things, that the Taliban appropriate the genre - many merchants put, instead of music, the instrumented religious declamations of the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the Taliban seek, door to door and building to building, weapons and military and luxury vehicles of the previous administration, which dragged a bad reputation of corruption and nepotism.

Through the streets, through the neighborhoods, not everything is discontent.In the markets it is also seen that part of the merchants, easily recognizable by their long beards and turbans, do not hide their joy because the Taliban of their same ethnicity already control the power."Maybe it can be a problem for you as a foreigner," explains Youssuf, a seller of melons and watermelons."We have never had a problem with the Mujahideins," he adds, openly admitting his sympathy for the Taliban.

What has changed radically in the streets is the presence of women.In the well -off neighborhoods they are no longer seen walking with their western clothes.There are coffees that used to serve as recreational places and where women alone came.Now these coffees are closed.And those women, put at home.Many of these women have bought or commissioned Burkas, as the sellers of a traditional clothing store tell us.I buy a typical Afghan man of man to try to go unnoticed in the distance.

The same does not happen in the poorest areas.There are groups of women in the markets, although completely covered."It is preferable to die at the hands of the Talibanes to star.

In the midst of chaos and confusion that seem to seize Kabul, it is not known if the Taliban can control this city of almost five million inhabitants.The situation changes at every moment and I live these events at a dizzying speed.No one knows what can happen tomorrow with the airport, with the displaced or with ethnic minorities.It is not even known what will happen to opium smokers - here a very entrenched custom - that come together in the parks with their pipes.Taliban prohibit that practice, but smokers cannot stop doing it overnight after an addiction of years.Kabul is today a city that fights for his survival and destiny.

Jorge Said es un periodista y cineasta chileno que producía reportajes en Kabul cuando la capital cayó en manos de los talibanes.

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