A Northern Virginia resident and former Kabul University professor reflected on the state of his home country of Afghanistan Sunday amid news that the government had collapsed.
“And now I can feel the pain of the people who have to leave their homes because of the new situation in my country,” Hamid Naweed, a retired writer who left Afghanistan in 1979 when the Soviet Union invaded, said.
That new situation he refers to is still developing, as the United States pulls out its forces after 20 years of war. The Taliban, meanwhile, have swiftly moved in.
“We are hopeful that this time there will not be any atrocities in the city of Kabul,” he said. “That’s what the Taliban leaders have promised.”
Many Afghans, including Naweed, are worried about the future of their country, as they watch events unfold on TV in the U.S. and try to make contact with people back home, hoping they’re safe.
“We got some news that there was not so much bloodshed in the city of Kabul and there will be a peaceful, hopefully a peaceful transition, of the government,” Naweed said.
He said he hopes Afghans will be able to keep their democratic freedoms, civil rights and women’s rights.
“We don’t want Afghanistan to go back 100 years again. We want the Taliban to respect human rights,” he said.
Naweed said he also hopes Afghanistan’s rich arts and culture survive and are preserved for generations to come.