As part of RT Unheard Voices’ special project, an Afghan journalist and a young refugee recount their experiences in the country they were forced to flee because there was no longer any hope or future for them in Afghanistan.
Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary has dedicated years of his life to being one of the voices of his country to speak to the world. The work took a heavy toll on him, as there was seldom good news to report in the midst of the never-ending war.
“And as I continued to tell the world about Afghanistan, my heart broke; there was little good news I could tell the world ”, Sarwary told RT.
It was often violence, carnage, destruction, targeted assassinations… I think over the years I have really destroyed from within.
The occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led Western Alliance over the past 20 years has been a very troubling time for the country. Still, the Afghans had at least some hope. Now, however, with the Taliban takeover and the hasty withdrawal of the remaining Western forces, Sarwary says all is lost.
It has always been a journey between hope and fear over the past 20 years. And a lot of bloodshed, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of murder. And then the result is an epic failure for the international community, for the West, for the Afghan people.
Faced with pressure from the Taliban, the journalist was finally forced to leave the country, although he had never intended to do so. “I have always dreamed of Afghanistan being peaceful. I had no intention of leaving Afghanistan, because I have been in the West, I have traveled all over the world – I studied in the United States and I came back feeling like I was determined to live in Kabul, hoping that my daughter and my family can live a normal life ”, said Sarwary.
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A similar sentiment is shared by Mustafa Samimi, a 19-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, who has only seen war all his life. The young man recently left the country to find himself in Turkey after a daring trek through the mountains of Afghanistan and Iran.
“When I was in Afghanistan, things were getting worse by the day. I never thought of coming to Turkey ”, Samimi told RT.
While many had complete faith in America and in the prospect of making Afghanistan a better place to live, all that hope is now lost, the refugee said.
“The Americans came and we believed in them, everyone saw another life. But in the end, it all happened so fast and we found ourselves on our own. We have been abandoned. Everyone was trying to survive ”, he said.
Hope aside, there were few real opportunities to achieve his dreams, given the persistent economic situation and the now defunct government corruption, Samimi believes. The Afghan people were ultimately betrayed by the country’s own leaders and politicians, he says, many of whom fled Afghanistan amid the government collapse and Taliban takeover, leaving ordinary people alone.
“I had many dreams and none of them could have come true in Afghanistan with the economic problems, the lack of jobs and opportunities” Samimi said. “Our leaders, our politicians were all traitors and thieves, all fled and live in other countries while the poor of Afghanistan remained in misery.”
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