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Kabul Diary - 16 August 2009

  • Amanullah Ghilzai


Today we had a very busy day in Kabul. In the morning I, with two of my colleagues went to the Kabul University. On the way, I could see heavily fortified buildings, including some embassies of western countries and the UN office. The streets of the city seemed quiet and we were told that many residents of the city were avoiding to go the town center, fearing more terrorist attacks after the one yesterday. I had a camera with me to take some photos, asked the driver to stop by. As soon I got out of the car with my camera, I was approached by several security officers with guns in their hands, asking me in the local language to show them my card. They were young and respectful, took my VOA card and told me that filming was not allowed in the town center."You know the situation in your country, Afghanistan," I don't have to explain it you, one of them told me and gave back my card.

After another 10 minutes of driving we reached the Kabul University. There, we visited the Journalism Department to talk to some of the students and get their point of view about the overall situation in Afghanistan. To my surprise, some of the female students were in tight jeans but wearing wrapping coats to cover parts of their bodies -- though all the girls were wearing scarves. But the male students seemed more at ease with their tight jeans and were sporting fashionable hair styles; we saw some of them in traditional Afghan dresses. We spent more than one hour with them, recorded interviews on the elections and their vision for the future of Afghanistan. Most Kabulis are fluent in the two main languages of Afghanistan: Dari and Pashto, they gave short interviews for the two language services of the Afghanistan Service of the VOA. These young Afghans seemed optimistic about the future of their country though strongly complained that the university lacks academic facilities.

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