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Friday, June 9, 2023

The book ‘Tears from Kabul’ is a reminder of Afghan women’s wounds with the return of Taliban

Although the book “Tears from Kabul” is a work of fiction, it narrates the author’s personal experiences in Kabul city. The characters of the story are ordinary people of Afghanistan whom the author saw or worked with them every day. The hardships and difficulties that the women in this story endure are genuine under the rule of the Taliban group.

Afghanistan has made much progress in recent years. Mobile phones and the internet are easily accessible to people. People are struggling with an economy that has been torn apart by war and all kinds of corruption. But this time, the situation has worsened with the Taliban taking power in Afghanistan.

In this book, from time to time, the Taliban bribed the guards who worked with the American forces to protect their employers. Sometimes Americans were shot and killed, and these threats have always existed against American forces. An ordinary citizen does not want war but wants a decent life like everyone else. Nations and people have always been victims of proxy and intelligence wars, and the people of Afghanistan have always been victims from this angle.

The book by Mr. Michael P. Buckley is about the forces formed by the President of Afghanistan and the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) commanders to help Afghan women continue their education and prevent them from being poisoned or killed by the Taliban.

The feeling of panic and terror

Therefore, this is a story based on the realities of our country, Afghanistan. The dark times of Taliban and post-Taliban are times when the people of our city and country still feel fear and terror. Sad feelings and memories that will never be forgotten. But this panic and terror on August 15, 2021, once again renewed the wounds of the Afghan people, especially the whipping wounds of Afghan women and girls. In the five years of the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, which took power in 1996, it became known as the black era of stoning, killing, and flogging for women and children of Afghanistan.

Therefore, after the defeat of the Taliban in 2001, the Afghan people never imagined that the Taliban would take over Afghanistan again. The people of Afghanistan never believed that with an almost-trained national army, the Taliban would again pour salt on the wounds of the Afghan people, especially the women and girls of Afghanistan.

Michael P. Buckley and Tears from Kabul

Michael P. Buckley wrote this book during his military mission in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mr. Michael Buckley is sixty-one years old and currently lives in the Philippines. He served 31 years in the infantry division of the US Army, including seven years in Iraq and one year in Afghanistan.

This book was published on January 8, 2014, and its Persian version, translated by Asadullah Jafari “Pezhman,” was published in 2022 by Afraz Publications in 151 pages in Iran.

Meanwhile, on August 27, 2022, the book Tears from Kabul won the “3rd National Youth Book of the Year Award”. The report of the chosen ones of the 3rd National Youth Book of the Year Award published by the IRNA news agency is available at this link.

National Youth Book of the Year award

“The National Book Award of the Year of Iran’s Youth” is a major cultural event to select the best writers, translators, and young creators under the age of 29 in the field of books, which has to monitor the best works of young people every year. This institution aims to identify and celebrate the best young authors and translators in the Center of Culture and Thought, which is held every year in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Youth Organization of the Red Crescent Society, and the House of Books and Literature of Iran.

This story recounts the cries of women and children from 1996 to 2002 in Kabul City

The story of the people of Afghanistan is the story of rising from war and bloodshed, and it is the story of rising and demanding justice and freedom. The story of a city whose dead bodies tremble in the grave from oppression. The group and men oppressed women through cruelty and whipping—men who took a right to independence from the townspeople, children, and women.

The bombardment and the noise of children and women echo in the city. Women and children become victims, and many women die due to torture and poisoning. A whip falls on women’s backs, and they cry silently.

The war literature and army discipline 

Nevertheless, in the content of this book, Michael P. Buckley, himself, under a pseudonym, is one of the commanders of the war and operations against the Taliban group in Kabul city. This work has discussed most of the points in the war and army discipline literature, which is the main focus of the discussion of Afghan women’s deprivation of education by the Taliban group.

In this story, women are threatened, whipped, tortured, killed, and even poisoned by the Taliban because of continuing their education so that the Taliban can stop women and girls from education. But the presence of international forces such as “NATO and ISAF” fought against this sinister phenomenon as far as possible, and Afghan women were able to enter educational centers, universities, and schools in the last 20 years.

On the one hand, this issue was to support Afghan women’s education and fight against the killings of the Taliban. On the other hand, it was a military discipline literature for the soldiers and commanders who had just entered an unknown geography like Afghanistan.

The Taliban and Osama Bin Laden

Russia had turned Afghanistan into a new version of Vietnam; from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. In 2001, the United States began airstrikes in Afghanistan, supporting future works. But the main reason for the presence and attacks of the United States of America in Afghanistan was the search for Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

However, after the attacks of September 11, the Taliban group did not hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States with the complicity of Pakistan. It caused a great excuse for the presence of Americans in Afghanistan. So, Osama bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011, by US Marine Special Forces in the Abbottabad district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in a special night operation. However, Pakistan’s Abbottabad district has been a safe base for terrorist group leaders like Bin Laden with the support of Pakistan, just like the safe havens for today’s Taliban.

The Taliban and Ayman al-Zawahiri

Meanwhile, the Taliban group had sheltered Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of the Salafist al-Qaeda, who was killed in a drone attack by the United States of America on July 31, 2022, in Kabul city. He was the successor of Osama bin Laden who was killed by American forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 2, 2011. Al-Zawahiri, who helped plan the 9/11 attacks against the United States, went into hiding after the attacks. He was identified by the CIA months before he was killed. After receiving permission from US President Joe Biden to launch the attack, the CIA fired two AGM-114 Hellfire missiles at the balcony of al-Zawahiri’s house in Kabul city and killed him.

This attack took place almost a year after the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan. American officials called al-Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan a violation of the agreement on the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, based on which the Taliban is not allowed to provide safe haven to members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

In the wake of the attack, members of the Pakistan-affiliated Haqqani network of the Taliban tried to cover up Zawahiri’s death in Kabul city. In response to this attack, US President Joe Biden announced the death of al-Zawahiri by publishing a statement and called it the “Execution of Justice.”

Tears from Kabul is a reminder of Afghan women’s wounds

Therefore, the book Tears from Kabul is a reminder of the wounds and tears of Afghan women and girls after 20 years of living under the shadow of republican governments in Afghanistan. A reminder of the scars and tears women and girls experienced in Afghanistan during the previous rule of the Taliban group in 1996 after it.

Afghan women and girls after the overthrow of the prior rule of the Taliban group, which prohibited women from all their rights in life, including education, social and political participation, and business. Thus, women never imagined that the Taliban would re-emerge in Afghanistan and ban women from education and business as they did before.

 The ban on women and girl’s education by Taliban

When the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan on August 15, 2021, when the country fell to the Taliban’s hands, the dreams and hopes of Afghan women and girls were destroyed once again. As in 1996 to 2001, the Taliban had been started oppression, restriction, whipping, and gender discrimination against women.

However, recently, the Taliban has also banned women and girls from going to universities and schools, which has met with national and international reactions and condemnations. Such cruel actions of the Taliban, which are against all standards of human rights and national and international conventions, return the women and girls of Afghanistan to the years 1996 and 2001.

Therefore, the discussion and content of the book “Tears from Kabul” also narrates similar scenarios of domination and behavior against humane principles of the Taliban against women and girls in the current situation of Afghanistan. Eventually, the Taliban renewed the wounds of Afghan women and girls like their previous ruling once again.


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Asadullah Jafari “Pezhman”
Asadullah Jafari “Pezhman”
Asadullah Jafari “Pezhman” is a Translator, Columnist, and a Former Member of the Afghan National Army. He Mostly Writing and Translating on Afghanistan and the Middle East Issues.


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