Fearing the Next Explosion

Aziza Roshani
Posted August 1, 2018 from Afghanistan
#EndViolence
This is one of my new pieces published in YaLa press.

It was the first week of the month of Ramadan, May 31st 2017, and a regular summer day in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the place where I had come from my home, Afghanistan, to study. At 1:30 pm, I was on my way to my performing arts class. That day, I woke up late and did not get the time to check my social media, so I tried to log into Facebook. The moment I opened it, all I could see on my phone screen was pictures of bloodshed, injured bodies, pieces of meat flattened on the road, and an exhausted Kabul City, with its sky full of soil and ashes. The headlines of news were things like “A Terrorist Attack in Kabul, over 80 Killed and more than 380 Injured.”

My entire body started shivering, and my legs were no longer able to work. I could not breathe. I collapsed on the floor with tears and harsh feelings of hopelessness. The first thing that came to my mind was my family. I imagined them among the injured bodies or even the dead ones. Those painful thoughts made me cry uncontrollably. I desperately reminded myself “Padar (father). MUST call Padar.” I called him repeatedly, but he was not picking up the calls. That made me even more afraid of what could have happened, and those negative thoughts persisted and magnified. The faces of my sisters and my innocent little brother were appearing in front of my eyes, but my heart was sure that my thoughts were wrong. When I did not get any response from my father, I checked my friend list and tried to contact my younger sister – in the family, she is the only one using Facebook – but she was active 2 hours ago. I sent several voice messages asking her to update me on her safety and the family. Then I messaged my Facebook friends in Kabul, but I was barely receiving replies. Some replied that they were O.K., but their friends were injured, and some died. I asked them about my family, but none of them knew.

At that point in my life, I was the most helpless person in the entire world. I kept thinking about the families who lost their fathers, sisters, brothers and mothers. All I could do, at that moment, was cry and pray. But then, my phone rang. It was my father. That call brought me into the present and brightened my exhausted soul. I picked up the call with all the sorrow in my voice, and asked him desperately, “Padar Jan, are you okay?” I could say at that moment, my only wish was to hear him. I could not wait to get a reply and again asked “Pader Jan, can you hear me? Please say something.” My father replied, “Hello, I am okay, Aziza. Don’t worry, everyone is safe.” I asked, “How is mother?” and I named all my sisters and my brother. Father confirmed that all my family members were safe. I asked my father to stay safe and avoid going to dangerous places. We both knew that nowhere in Kabul is safe now. An explosion can happen anywhere and anytime in that city, but still, he said that they would try. I hung up the phone, and I was relieved after hearing the news of my family’s safety, but fear did not leave me. The fear of the next explosion, the next painful experience and next sorrowful day persisted.

Three days later, it was the funeral for the victims of the explosion. And there was another explosion. Again, calling my father, texting my friends in Kabul and again drawn into deep fear and hopelessness.

Comments 12

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Corine Milano
Aug 02, 2018
Aug 02, 2018

Aziza, I am moved by your powerful words. Thank you for speaking out and sharing this emotional story with us. I could feel your fear and pain and can’t imagine how hard the distance must be.

How is your family today? Are they still in Kabul?

Sep 03, 2018
Sep 03, 2018
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Jill Langhus
Aug 02, 2018
Aug 02, 2018

Hi Aziza,

I literally don't know how you do it. So scary:-( Do you think the situation will improve any time soon there? I hope so.

Thanks for sharing your story with us...

Stephanie Mah
Aug 02, 2018
Aug 02, 2018

Hi Aziza,
I can feel your sorrow because am in the same situation, political problems in our country, there have been shooting and killing of young men any time any were,I call my younger brother to come and leave with me he says he is coming,l but for 3days now I have been calling his number to no avail am so worried to know were he is, I pray his fine.thanks for sharing.

Tarke Edith
Aug 02, 2018
Aug 02, 2018

Hi Aziza
What a terrible world we are leaving in sister , you are crying of expliotion there we are crying of shooting and killing of innocent people here we are leaving in fear all the time we don,t even know what our tomorrow will look like we are not even sure that our children will go to school sister let pray hard it is terible here in the southen part of Cameroon . Anyway sister let look up only to God who is our creator , thanks for sharing.

ARREY- ECHI
Aug 04, 2018
Aug 04, 2018

Dear Aziza,

Thank you for voicing out this never ending circle of fear. I could practically feel the emotions cruising towards you as I read and I some how can relate to this. Most of my families are in the now troubled Anglophone territories in my country Cameroon and each time I hear a news, I die a thousand times and cannot rest until I hear a 'we are ok'.. It is heartwrenching.
Glad your family is ok. I guess like your dad said, we all can but try and wish to stay safe especially in troublesome areas.

Hugs to you.

Tamarack Verrall
Aug 07, 2018
Aug 07, 2018

Dear Aziza,

What a horror to live through. These wars must be stopped, and your story, and the responses of our sisters in Cameroon are a stark reminder of how many are in danger all of the time these days. These wars are being fuelled by so many world governments, including countries that create them at a distance. With all of what we are gathering together here to do, ending wars has to remain a priority. I hope that at the very least you will feel the love and commitment of our WorldPulse community to you, your family and to all whose lives have been shaken, even lost because of these fights for power.

In sisterhood,
Tam

Lily Habesha
Aug 08, 2018
Aug 08, 2018

Aziza,
I can feel the fear, i just feel it as if i were there with you. There was a day in my city ten years ago, the following week after I came from abroad...there was instability in town after the election. One young man insulted the federal police and run and hid in front of our house in an old man's compound. The old man was bashing the sun, the feds run after him, but couldn't grab the young guy. The beat the hell out of the old man. My dad has a party that afternoon, we cooked a lot of meal and waiting for people to come and dine. When dad heard his friend's crying and cursing the polices, his body was shacking. the two polices broke everybody's house and kick anyone they found, I was saying to my Dad, " Don't worry, they won't enter here." and i was praying God not to allow them to brake our compound. They skip only ours and the next compound for my surprise. They picked one young girl from next house, that brought a lot of chaos in my area. But all the neighbors went to police station with her parents and brought her back.
Such kind of days, ....I know what they look like.

Be strong. Now, it seems it's all over in my place. We've got a leader who preaches love and unity. But some government official are still sulking, but time will solve the remaining problem.

Ensha Alah,

Lily

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Aug 17, 2018
Aug 17, 2018

How traumatic and tragic!
I hope all is well with you and your family, Aziza. You are a brave woman.

Please stay safe. The world is waiting for more of your stories.

obioma nwachukwu
Aug 17, 2018
Aug 17, 2018

Hi Aziza I could feel your trauma at that point in time it wasn't easy but thank God your family was saved

Princesse MUHINDO
Aug 23, 2018
Aug 23, 2018

Bonjour AZIZA,
Ayez toujours du courage car nul échappe à son destin et juste est de compatir avec les familles qui sont touchées. Merci d'avoir partager votre histoire

Gulzaib Tareen
Aug 23, 2018
Aug 23, 2018

May Afghanistan became peaceful.
May we understand that peace is shared interest.

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