The sudden rise to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan has disrupted life across the country.
When a reporter recently asked Afghans to describe their work before and after, the powerful responses showed how many are facing radically changed circumstances.
The BBC spoke to some of those – from office workers to activists – who wanted to share their stories.
Ahmed: Life is more difficult for me
Ahmed worked as an office manager with an Afghan private company before the Taliban took power. He had been working on it since September 2019.
“It was a good time for me as I was working and supporting my sisters who were in college and school,” she told the BBC. “I had a good salary at the time and that was almost enough for my family too because I was saving money and sending some food home.”
“I had a lot of friends at work and they all lost their jobs and became unemployed,” he added.
“But now life is more difficult for me, especially for my family, because here there is no work for people and there is no way to earn for families”.
Ahmed is the only son and eldest of his family. His father, who is in his 60s, cannot work due to age and a knee problem.
“It makes me feel more responsible,” he said, adding that the price of food goes up every day.
“It’s boring for us every day.”
Zahra: Life now is not living
Zahra was studying at the university shortly before the Taliban takeover and was unable to resume her classes.
“The perfect time of my life was when I was a medical student,” he said. “I have been trying for two years to get my dream score on the college enrollment exam and it was worth it. It hurts because I tried hard but came back empty-handed.”
“Life now is not living. It is surviving and breathing without any purpose. This is not the life I dreamed of when I was a high school student preparing for the college entrance exam.
“I was in love with studying with my friends and I really miss being a student,” she said.
Zahra says most of her time is now spent at home and she misses being able to go out “without any hesitation”.
“I am working on improving my English and learning new things from books, but unfortunately the situation is depressing.
“Maybe one day we will go back to our studies,” he added.
Sana: I hope this is a bad dream
Sana has been involved in women’s rights activism in Afghanistan.
“Before the Taliban arrived, we were deprived of many of our rights, but we were happy because we had some freedom,” he said. “We could study, work, hang out with our friends, sit together, argue and laugh.”
“We were happy to fight together for our rights ….. we tried to change the laws but suddenly everything changed and we moved away from our homeland”.
She currently lives in Iran and has a visa for Germany but hasn’t left yet.
“I hope it’s like a bad dream and I wake up and go home soon. It’s hard for me to be away from my homeland,” she said.
“It is difficult for me to lose everything we have done. I am physically alive but I miss my family and my home. I miss my people, my language, the efforts we have made.
“I emigrated but my soul remained in Afghanistan and it is wounded”.
He said: Everything fell apart so quickly
Sayed worked as a reporter and host for one of the largest media outlets in Afghanistan.
“I miss my professional life as a journalist and all the dreams I had of progressing my professional career at home. I feel devastated to remember those moments now,” he said.
Sayed was working the day the Taliban took control of Kabul and that afternoon things had already changed.
“Our office was almost empty, all the female staff had left the office and our technical team had changed clothes with that of ordinary people.”
Sayed is in the United States and is seeking asylum as a refugee. His family remains in Afghanistan.
“The 20 years of progress and sacrifice have all been shattered and everything is ruined, including my hopes and dreams within hours,” he said. “Everything collapsed so fast, I still can’t believe it.
“Life is hard now being away from loved ones in a completely different environment, where I can absorb the trauma, which is easier said than done.”
All names have been changed to protect the identity of contributors.
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This Article is Sourced from BBC News. You can check the original article here: Source