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We are back – but it’s not the same

By Aisha Khurram

Walking with shaky knees and a racing heart, I entered the northern gate of my University, as I got closer to my faculty, I stood there for a while- staring at the shattered windows and bullet-stricken walls of my faculty’s building. Tension was ebbing from my body and a giddy wave of horror and exhaustion shuddered through my core.

The emotions knotting my heart were so many.  there was no sound of laughter, no sign of joy and friendly chit chats in hallways instead there was a deafening silence in the campus reverberating back and forth as if the damaged walls were whispering to themselves, reminding me of the good old days, when my university was the safest corner of this city, when it was embracing young people from every part of this country and providing them with a safe haven for development and growth.

It was only two months after the start of intra-Afghan negotiation, when “three gunmen” stormed the Kabul University campus, killing “22 students” and wounding 50 others. The attack began around the time when government officials and foreign diplomats were expected to arrive at the campus for the opening ceremony of Iranian book fair.

The attack lasted six hours that day, while many students were still trapped inside their classrooms, some managed to jump out of the windows and some were not given the chance to fight for their lives once more.

Imagine all the damage, the chaos, the panic and the horror that clouded my faculty’s environment that day, when everyone was desperately running and screaming, some were fortunate enough to escape away and some couldn’t even make it to jump out of the shattered windows of their classrooms.

Now imagine how it feels to live a lottery life, where our individual fortunes are determined by the random effects of luck, where you have to play hide and seek with death every single day of your life.

On November 2nd we didn’t only lost 22 students, we lost 22 worlds,22 dreams, and 22 treasures that in today’s world of chaos were inspiring us and keeping us hopeful for a bright future and a better tomorrow.

Those of us who survived, we carry broken hearts and wounded souls with us to our classrooms, we carry the burden of our friends and fellow students shattered dreams in our minds and souls,

Yet there’s one simple question, we need an answer for “why?”

  • Is killing innocents the fastest route to heaven?

We are well aware that terrorism is to create terror and fear, while fear undermines the faith, it causes unrest in the masses and weakens the society from within. In reality it’s not an expression of rage but a political weapon that keeps the population in a constant state of anger, resentment and despair while gradually destroying the collective conscious of society in its core-in its essence, and in the eyes of enemies those most capable of spreading wisdom are condemned to be destroyed because the ignorance of mankind is what helps the chaos to grow and the absence of light in this country is what nourishes the darkness, the violence and extremism.  This war of bullet against pen is still taking gifted youth and brightest students from this nation.

Now that the violence reached its peak, the stark reality of the peace process is closing around us. This incident was the latest sign that the fragile peace deal inked between Taliban and the United States is failing to deliver its promises, a failure that Afghans are still paying a heavy price for it, a failure that will leave its marks on the future of my generation and generations to come.

According to the latest reports by UN, the conflict has claimed 5393 civilian casualties and more than 200 lives as of September this year and it seems like by each passing day we are distancing and getting further away from peace, something that my generation crave to witness and feel at least once in their lives.

 This news has been spinning around in national and international media outlets and received quite a lot of attention, but it’s not because the world is now awakened to the bitter reality of Afghan Youth’s life, to the hellfire that is burning a part of this globe, but it was just another opportunity for those responsible to shower us with their fancy condemnation tweets, which always feels like an insult to injury.

Our university is our symbol of unity, harmony and integrity most importantly it’s our home of knowledge where boys and girls, poor and rich, everyone enjoy equal right to education, to  progress and growth, But it has been frequently used as a theater for politicians and government officials’ to carry out their political games and even in the aftermath of the incident take advantage of this tragedy to gain leverage in their power game which in consequence make our classrooms an easy target for terrorist attacks.

Knowing that violence is now a daily reality in every corner of this country and we are officially in frontlines, this time not with guns but with pens in our hands and faith in our hearts, we simply ask for one thing: keep politics out of education!

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