by Esmat

I am thinking of Kabul. Because more than 80 people senselessly died. Because the lives of more than 200 people (and their families) senselessly changed forever. Because I am part of the people who feel pained right now. And because it matters what happens in the rest of the world – it always did and always will do.

If you are still wondering what happened in Kabul – read the following, it will take only few minutes of your time, I mean dozens of people got killed so it must be pretty serious right? How long did it take you to learn of the Paris attack last year? 15 minutes? And yet, I am thinking that you might be learning of this just now. I am not angry. I am just terribly disappointed in you, or anyone else who is ignorant, despite being educated. You just don’t think that it matters who got killed in that part of world, because you think it doesn’t really affect you. Well…surprise! It does!

The New York Times: ISIS Claims Deadly Bombing at Demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Islamic State claimed a bombing that left at least 80 people dead Saturday at a peaceful demonstration in the Afghan capital of Kabul, raising fears that the group may be extending its reach beyond the country’s eastern pockets, where it generally operates.

The Afghan Interior Ministry, in a statement, said the attack on thousands of Hazaras, an ethnic minority group staging the protest, had been a suicide mission.

“The attack was carried out by three suicide bombers: The first person carried out a blast, the second one failed at his detonation, and the third terrorist was killed in shooting by the security forces,” the ministry said.

The second assailant was presumed to be at large, a security official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss intelligence matters.

At least 231 people at the protest were wounded. The demonstrators had gathered in the west of Kabul to demand that a proposed electricity transmission line be routed through Bamian, a Hazara-dominated province in central Afghanistan.

The Islamic State, in a statement on the group’s Amaq News Agency, claimed the carnage as a “martyrdom attack” on Shiites.

I spent the entire Saturday mentally distressed. I couldn’t focus or concentrate on anything. The attack happened in Kabul when I just woke up here in Andover. Thankfully I was able to get in touch with my family and check in on them and they are doing fine. However, I knew two person who got killed. And another relative who got injured.

My Facebook newsfeed got filled up with all sorts of rumors about the attacks in the earlier moments. I couldn’t imagine something like this happening. I knew that there were thousands of people there. I saw pictures. I saw videos. I saw things that made me terribly feel guilty of not being there. With them. To share the pain at least closely. I saw down and started crying and did that for a while.

I had passed that square many times each week if not everyday when I was in Kabul. I passed that square when I went to my favorite frozen yogurt almost every other weekend on Fridays. I passed that square when I had to do something on the other side of the city. And now it was filled with blood; with pieces and parts of bodies; with smells of burned skin and hair; with fear and anger; with hopelessness. How can you witness something like this and still feel at ease? How can you control yourself from shouting – God how can you let something like this happen? What wrong did they do? If you can see this, why don’t/can’t you stop this? Why?

I spent the day in pain and distress. I wanted to do something. Anything to share my pain. But I can’t and I couldn’t. I can only say things and show things from far away. I don’t know if that will ever console those people who got killed. I went outside and saw some other people and I asked them that if they knew what had happened – the answer was no. All of them. Three of them that I spoke to at least. But you ask – how come? 80 people died after all!

There is something wrong about the way we care about things that happen and that is that people are not numbers. If it was 3 people only, would it matter less? Of course not. Then why are we thinking this way?

The day after the incident, I tried to be normal again. I was in that mode until I opened my phone and was every time reminded of what had happened. I had to do something. I called the main office here at Summer Session and asked if there is a discussion on what had happened. They said that there is a vigil planned at night. I was thinking of speaking about what had happened and share my feelings.

I read almost every major western news outlet’s stories on the attack, and informed myself fully, so to speak. At the vigil, three other students spoke of things, they all mentioned that very tragic things have been happening all around the world, they named almost all of the countries who have experienced something like this during this summer, except Afghanistan!

When it was my turn to speak, I went to where everyone was standing and I first thanked everyone who came there to participate at the vigil. Then I said –  I heard the three other speech and I know what happened in other countries during this summer and I do genuinely feel bad for those countries, but yesterday was a horrible day in my country and almost none of you know for sure what happened and why!

My point was: to not be ignorant when you can read the news, when you have access to what is happening in the rest of the world. If you can do those things and still not care about what’s happening in the rest of the world then you are being ignorant on purpose. That was an eye opener, I think to some people there that night. Not ignorant in sense of being aware of something but feeling something towards it.

I still think of Kabul. Kabul is home to me. Kabul is one of my homes. Kabul is your home. Think about it.