Life in Afghanistan and an unplanned
flight to freedom - Part 3
June 21, 1979 is the day that I name the start
of struggle for our family. We got a phone call that day and the
only thing that I remember is a loud scream
of my mother and nothing else. My father got wounded on the battlefield. For
one month, we did not know anything about it. After one month when the injury
got worse, then the health department of Kandahar, where he had taken a job
in the military, decided to send him to the capital city, to get better treatment.
The injury was in his left leg. My father was hospitalized for one
and a half years and I was not able to see him. After that long time, they dismissed him
and he was in bed for one more year at home. My poor mother went to
work every day, she did all the cleaning, and she took care of my father and
all the economical problems we had at that time, she proved her braveness and
saved our family. I am proud of her and I will be forever.
The war got to its
worst point. Prices went so high, schools were closed, and people started
fleeing from one city to another and most of them started going
to the neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. Some days
because of bombing or gunfire all the offices, shops and every thing got closed.
One day, my dad came in and said make ourselves ready because we had to go
to our home land place.The government announced that there would
b a big war coming
up and whoever wanted to move from the capital city should do it in two days.
We went to the bus stop and took the bus to our
homeland place. On our way, we could hear the sound of the gunfire
and the rockets.
Half way to our city,
got worse and we saw the gun shots with our eyes. Everyone in the bus was
scared; the driver turned the bus around to return to Kabul. We
saw a large number
of soldiers coming towards us. One of the soldiers got into the bus and said, “you
neither can go ahead nor can back. Whoever wants to go ahead, should start
walking , and whoever wants to be safe should stay in the bus and the driver
the bus in a safe place.” Everyone stayed in the bus and the driver drove
the bus to the yard of a school away from the highway. The night we stayed
with all the lights and the noises of gunfire is something that I will never
in my life.
Daylight was taking over the night’s darkness
and the noise of gunfire was getting farther and farther away. Some
of the men got out to check
going on. When after 30 minutes, they all came back, everyone was waiting to
hear something but they even did not say a word, and they didn’t not
respond to anyone’s questions. My father was one of them and he looked
so upset and I knew that he did want to talk about it. He said something to
my mom that
I could not hear and then he took our bag and held my little sister, and started
getting off the bus. Finally when we got to the highway…the highway scene
shocked me. I found myself in a street covered by body parts, blood
streams and dead bodies. Smoke, fire, blood and chemical weapons smell made
it hard to breath: it was really hard to find your way out. The street
was surrounded by cultivated lands, which were still on fire and the black
smoke produced by it made the area
darker. We had no choice but to pass this road. The scene was so horrible that
my mind stopped; I was not able to think of anything. When we got home, my
brother and I were very sick. But, since war was still going on, we were not
get any kind of treatment. How could I forget that scene? All the people
who were lying dead on that street had families, children, relatives and friends
waiting for them. Maybe one of them was the only breadwinner for his family;
maybe one of them has just got married or just got a baby or…what would
happen to all these families? Who was responsible for all the destruction?
thanked God that we got home safe and sound and I thought that would be it
and at least for a few days we would not have any gunfire or any problems.
Everyone was so happy to see us alive, Grandma made us a special meal, gave
us some medicine
and let us sleep. I could not believe that after such a horrible night, I
was sleeping in a nice soft bed. Around two o’clock I heard a terrible voice
which woke me up and I suddenly stood in my bed saying, “ What happened
Dad, whaaaa?” I saw four men with covered faces and guns in
their hands, I was frozen in my place and did not even have the mind to think.
One of the
men came towards me, beat me with his gun , and ordered me to go back to
my bed. For a while, I thought I was still asleep and dreaming what was going
unfortunately it was real and an unlivable truth. One of the men stepped ahead
and started calling my dad by his name, “..we know you have gun with
you and you have come here to fight with us. Now tell us where you have hidden
gun.” My dad told the guy that he was mistaken because we did not have
any gun in our house. They ordered us not to move, and started hitting and
beating my dad. I was afraid and started crying, especially when I heard that
kill my dad if we didn’t hand them the gun they thought we had. Finally,
they ordered us to stand up in our beds and as soon as we stood up, the one
who seemed to be the boss ordered the other one to handcuff us and take us
That night they took everything we had; they started
at 2:00 and they were taking our stuff out until 5:00 in the morning. This
night was the
longest night of my life; we had the two worst nights of our lives one after
another. When they left for another half an hour we could not
move. My dad was in bad shape, he was bleeding in two places. Around seven
in the morning
to stand up and go ask for help. I was so dizzy that I did not know where
I was going and what I wanted to say. On my way to our neighbors’ house,
I fell down three or four times and finally I got to their house. They helped
up the mess and took my dad to the doctor. War was still on, but the doctor
treated my dad in his house.
For the next day we had nothing, no money, no carpets,
and no dishes to eat on or cook in: they took everything we had.
Living in this place
was hard for us,
every night went by with the fear of another attack so my Dad decided to borrow
some money from his friends and leave the valley. It was early morning of the
third day that we got out and started going toward the northern city of Mazar-I-Sharif.
Since war was still on there was no bus to take us so we started walking through
the snowy mountains of the Saalang highway. The weather was horribly cold.
When we got up to the highest parts of the mountains I felt like
I would fall off.
My father told us not to look down, but it was not possible. After three days
of walking, we got to the city. It was winter, 1997. I don’t know why,
but from the time I got into the city, I felt happy. Something inside me was
telling me that it would be the end of my struggles.
to Part 4 - Unbelievable Outcomes]