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Editorial: Zealous Afghans chasing joy

As the countdown to the historic day has already begun, the vibrant Afghan youth and overall population have made elaborate preparations with national and patriotic fervor to mark the centenary of Afghanistan’s Independence Day. Former King Ghazi Amanullah achieved independence from Great Britain nearly 100 years ago, though Afghanistan has never been a British colony. Afghanistan celebrates the day to commemorate the 1919 Anglo-Afghan Treaty, which granted it independence by being relinquished from the protected state status. Although important national events have been celebrated with simplicity after 2008 insurgent attack in Kabul – when gunmen fired at a function, killing two people, including parliamentarian Fazal Rahman Samkani, and injuring nine others. However, this year promises to be different and brings a whole new era of celebrations and joyous moments. Despite all the conflicts, war-weary Afghans find opportunities and occasions to smile. They are now barely tasting the luxury of having a few moments of tranquility. In the lead up to the Independence Day, various special ceremonies and programs are being held beforehand throughout the country with national zeal and enthusiasm. As July 29 was declared the National Flag Day for the first time this year, the nation celebrated the day with extreme passion and excitement. The tricolor, glowing flags of Afghanistan have since been waving on top of almost every shop, home and vehicle, as well as draping over the shoulders of children and youngsters in every nook and cranny of the country. Moreover, honoring the centenary celebrations of the country, several ceremonies have been put in place by various national organizations. In honor of the Independence Day, the National Olympic Committee has arranged for National Games; the Capital Kabul City and provinces have been beautified and spruced up; the airplanes of local airlines are carrying the independence logos and markings; the Afghanistan National Institute of Music has composed melodious songs; music concerts and exhibitions are in the pipeline to mark the day; and the social media users have uploaded the Afghan flag and independence photos to their profile pictures. Adding to the jubilation, a unique one of its kind 100-movie film festival, aimed at kick-starting the Afghan cinema, has been recently launched in Kabul in connection with the country’s 100th Independence Day celebrations. Sahraa Karimi, the first-ever female head of the Afghan Film, a state-owned institution, is spearheading the festival – which seen as the filmmaker’s first major step to revive cinema in the war-ravaged country since her appointment this May. A selection of 100 mostly classic Afghan films carefully preserved in the archives will be shown over in the 8-day festival. These are all a few tiny reasons that bring happiness on the faces of Afghans who have been detected by never-ending wars. With hopes that nothing untoward happens, Afghans are finally on their way to breathe in a soothing environment. It is circulated in media that Afghans would have a peaceful Eid-ul-Adha this year as the eighth and final round of US-Taliban negotiations entered the third day on Monday because both sides have come together to finalize a peace deal this time. Therefore, we encourage Afghans to remain optimistic and celebrate such national events zealously.

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