My name is Homeira Qaderi, and I am the author, most recently, of Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son. I met some of you in the International Writing Program, and I know others through your writings. I live in Kabul these bloody days, where as a writer, woman, and mother I see my people being pushed around by the Taliban. We are trapped in a war that was imposed on us: a proxy war in the Global War on Terror, but also a proxy war promoted by our neighboring countries. When the Taliban came to power in 1995, Afghanistan was ravaged by civil war, and then the spirit of our people was destroyed by the Taliban imposing draconian and obsolete laws. The world remained indifferent to our fate, believing it was still a civil war. But the Taliban’s embrace of terror posed a danger to the world, as the events of 9/11 made clear.
I want to say the war on terror does not belong to Afghans alone. This is a war that must be waged by the world. If Afghanistan loses, then the security of the world will be endangered.
Everyone has a weapon in this war. Mine is my pen. This is the pen with which I am writing to ask you, the writers of the world, to be my pen. Our displaced children are sleeping these days on dirt roads, our women give birth in the streets, our old men and women have no way to escape and thus either die in their homes or are killed in the streets where they huddle with thousands of other internal refugees. The catastrophe has reached its peak. We are nearing a painful end.
Please talk about this tragedy in your media. Do not leave Afghan women and children alone.
Please do not forget this human tragedy.