If the Taliban were not in power…

As a girl who has always pursued her dreams and fought for them for years, I had numerous goals I wanted to achieve. However, when the Taliban came to power, everything was destroyed in a matter of moments. Our dreams, hopes, and plans for a bright future were shattered. I often find myself thinking about what my life would have been like if the Taliban had never gained control. I could have been making progress as a journalist in my field. But now, I am confined to my home without any specific plans for the future.

Living under the Taliban regime feels like being trapped in a cage. I used to go to the office every day, meet my friends, visit parks, attend conferences, and prepare for my Master’s degree. Unfortunately, due to the burdensome restrictions imposed by the Taliban, these activities are no longer part of my routine. We have lost our normal lives, and it’s disheartening to see the whole world watching as if it’s a mere spectator. I can’t help but wonder if the reaction would have been the same if a similar situation had occurred in the Western world. Afghan girls are enduring immense mental suffering due to these restrictions because we have lost the most important reason for our existence: our hope.

Living under Taliban rule means merely existing and nothing more. As women, we are required to cover our faces, carry a male companion (a Mahram) whenever we go out, and wear hijabs or burqas. Most importantly, we are forbidden from attending schools or any educational institutions, and even parks designated for women are off-limits. The most difficult part is that they have imposed restrictions on UN employees, who were the sole breadwinners for their families.

If the Taliban were not in power, these restrictions would not exist, and we would be free to live normal, peaceful lives. Our dreams and hopes would not have been shattered.

It is truly disheartening that we have to fight alone for our basic human and women’s rights.

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