Mustaly, 20, married and wearing a yellow scarf, she and her friends are on the way to a picnic. She has just been discharged. Mustal has always had a painful attack, but he can’t find a physical cause. She also often tries to self-mutilate. The doctor guessed that the inducement was a traumatic experience. But what happened, she did not want to mention it.
| More afraid of peace than war |
The woman in Kabul responsible for maintaining justice and order said she was afraid of peace. She sat on a small floral cushion on the fifth floor of a residential building in Kabul, shaking a pistol in her hand. Suddenly, she got up and walked to a small chest of drawers, taking out a magazine between the powder and the lipstick. With a loud bang, she would enter the police with the Walter P1 pistol.
She said that if the war is really over, she will be ready. “If we welcome the era of peace, he will try to kill me, or I have to get rid of him first.” The air around the air was quiet for a moment, only to hear the buzz from the electric fan.
The woman with the gun is called Shamira, a policeman in Kabul. She is 47 years old. Her eyelashes are very delicate and her eyes are sharp, as if to say, “Be careful! Don’t mess with me!”
Samila and four children live together in the urban area of Chelchine in northern Kabul. Through the curtains in her bright living room, you can see the Hindu Kush Mountains. The TV in front of her is broadcasting news. Shamira watches the news every day, even though it is all about repetition—attacks, Taliban, and engagement. Like all Afghans, Samila has become accustomed to the country with bad news. But what she is afraid of is not bad news, but good news.
Peace has made Samila more worried than war, and this is mainly because of her ex-husband, a Taliban soldier who was responsible for making suicide vests and imprisoning Samila for several years. A few years ago, she fled the man with her children and came to Kabul. She was a little girl and she was abducted from here.
Shamira saw on TV that recently Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is trying to use the international aid to conduct peace talks with the Taliban. Although the peace talks failed, there was at least a three-day truce during Eid al-Fitr in June, during which Taliban soldiers could return to Kabul on their own. In the past few days, Samila received a video in which her ex-husband was laughing and walking on a street in Kabul. At the moment of seeing this video, Samila couldn’t help but hold her breath, and she knew he wanted to avenge her. Most of the time the phone rings at night, sometimes even late at night, the caller number can’t be displayed. Someone on the phone whispers: “You are a shameless woman! I will catch you and cut off the heads of you and your children. ”
| Best choice for forgetting |
Since watching this video, Samila’s sleep quality has become very bad, and the disease has become more frequent: first itchy on her face, then she feels tightened in the chest by the rope, followed by tremors, sputum, and breathing Difficult, in the end, Shamira began to swell her neck and felt a whirlwind until she was black, and she began to vomit.
Samila said that she used to attack her like a demon. In Afghanistan, you’d better choose to forget, because memories are not good. Samila knows what would happen if the devil wins. Her main job is to investigate female deaths for the Criminal Police Department. At the crime scene, Samila would see a woman who burned herself, a woman hanging from a ceiling fan, or a woman who was cut by a knife and her face was corroded. Some of them are hurt by men, while others are by themselves. We may not be able to say that it is war, but the violence that breeds in the war is definitely an important culprit.
There are currently no data on the number of Afghans suffering from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in the 40-year state of war. Some experts estimate that the proportion is as high as 75%. In this regard, we first think of the Western soldiers who fought in the Hindu Kush, those men who returned to the peaceful environment from the battlefield will suddenly fall in the supermarket because they think someone is trying to shoot themselves. And Samila is a woman who has never left the battlefield.
If the onset of the disease is too painful, she will take some pills. They were brought by her sister who went to Germany many years ago when she came to see her. She was placed in a plastic bag next to the TV set, and a soap opera was playing on the TV.
Zinabu, 16 years old, has been hit hard since she saw her 27-year-old sister Zola pulled by her husband with acid corrosion and dying. Zinab always tells this story in a toneless tone. Zalina, 14-year-old Zalina and a few neighbors’ children play in a park in Kabul. Her mother has experienced three bomb attacks and is currently struggling with serious mental illnesses, with paroxysmal assaults and convulsions after crying.
Shakiah, 17 years old, she always has stomach pain and nausea, and the doctor can’t find a physiological cause for her. Shakia said she wants to study economics. Chiagur, 45, widowed in the war, she lost a total of 27 family members including her husband. Like the children, she always has headaches and sleep disorders. At the age of eight, Chiagul and a commander of the Jihadist organization were married, even though she had been assigned to another man. The latter decided to retaliate, smashing her father in front of Chiagul and shooting her leg.
Samila glanced angrily at the plastic bag. She hated the pills and hated the weakness they represented. “In my work, weakness can be useless,” she said, straightening her back, as if to show her attitude. No one in the police station knew about Samila’s condition.
The next day the sun just rose, Samila stood in front of the small mirror in the bedroom, flattening her uniform, her handcuffs carrying a few handkerchiefs, a bag of ammunition and the silver wales hidden in the holster. Special P1 pistol. When she tied the lavender headscarf to her head, she said: “There are two kinds of policewomen in Kabul, one who wears traditional costumes on the commuter road to protect themselves from attack, and the other is like me. But they generally can’t last long.” Samila said, her smile was a bit stiff. Then she touched her son’s hair and bid farewell to him, locked the two-layer door lock and went out. It was still early, but it was already hot. The dusty air was mixed with the taste of fresh bread and garbage. I don’t know where someone is killing a sheep.
| Fragmented memories |
Samila pointed to an alley where she was 12 years old. The memories of being abducted have long been fragmented. She only remembers those men who said they would kill unbelievers, and remember the plane that flew through the sky when she was tied up in the bushes. They flew away from far away, and the sense of loneliness at that time still haunted her heart and never disappeared.
The abducting her was a jihadist organizer who opposed the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. These men brought Shamira to Pakistan and married her to a senior officer named Abdullah Yan. Abdullah is much older than Shamira, but he never gave her the food she gave her. In the two years he lived, she had two sons. But not long after, Abdullah was killed and Samila was married to his nephew Sabel. At that time, Samila was only 15 years old, but she was already remarried. Sabel, who already has a wife, is unwilling to accept Samira. He forced her to give her two sons to one of his uncles. Samila cried and protested, but she was beaten and finally had to succumb.
The Sabel family lives in a clay huts in Dassamaan, a village on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. With the end of the war against the Soviet Union, Afghanistan has fallen into a new civil war, and the dark age of Samila began. Because in her husband’s eyes, she is a symbol of sin: on the one hand, Samila was educated, she studied literacy at school, and on the other hand her sisters lived in Kabul in jeans and miniskirts.
Her husband’s relatives marry her and said she was cursed. Another husband of her husband said that she had brought them into misfortune. When the whole family had dinner together, Samila could only watch it. Many times she can only eat leftovers, sometimes there is nothing to eat. Hunger became her most loyal companion, and Sabel would only come to her dirty little bedroom at night. After he left, his smell was still long, which made Samila feel sick.
And the thing she hates him the most is that he turned her into a slave. In the early hours of the morning, when people are still asleep, she needs to prepare hot water for everyone, feed the sheep and horses, milk, brush, clean, and every day. If she made a mistake, Sabel would hit her with a fist, a stick or a branch, and sometimes even interrupt her bones, causing her to lie at home for weeks. She also had a miscarriage many times, and she buried all the stillbirths next to a hedgehog tree behind the house.
The man’s child finally survived only three, two boys and one girl. Sabel doesn’t like them. If he fights back, the children dare to talk to him, and they will be embarrassed. In the mid-1990s, Sabel joined a new organization that promised to liberate Afghans from warlord melee and corruption, the Taliban. As a skilled craftsman, Sabel soon began making bait and suicide vests for Taliban soldiers. He hid it in Samila’s room, and Samila was very worried that the children would come and play. For her, this fear has always followed.
A few years later, Samila was in her 30s, and the children finally grew up. She decided to step out of that step – escape, no matter what form. But she just fled to the nearest big city, an acquaintance recognized her and dragged her back home. The whole family agreed that Samila would pay the price of death for his betrayal. At that time, Sabel had already finished the prayer and put the rope around her neck, and her children rushed into the room and hugged his arms and legs.
Samira said that she still doesn’t know why Sabel forgave her, but she knows that he will kill her sooner or later, she must try to escape again. “The future of my four children has hope,” said Samila. After Sabel had imprisoned her for a year, her second escape was successful.
Speaking of the experience of imprisonment and escape, Samira feels like two women are telling stories. Her voice was changing rapidly. The hour was big, the tone was sometimes pleading, and sometimes it was very aggressive. It seemed that a little girl instantly became a policewoman, and then she instantly became a little girl.
Samira, 17 years old, married Samira (right) is a clever girl with a lot of language talent. At the age of 11, she was forced to marry a 16-year-old cousin, and only life was beaten and insulted. She tried three times to end her life with a rat poison. Last June, she was full of petrol and lit herself. A few days after taking this photo in a hospital in Kabul, Samira disregarded the doctor’s opposition and left the hospital, and soon died of severe burns.
Soon after, when Shamira arrived at the police station, she was already a policewoman. This is a huge gray-green building, like a fortress. There are 345 police officers working there, only 14 of them, and Samila is the highest of them. In her office, there are dozens of cases of files.
In recent years, the role of women in Afghanistan has changed dramatically. Although the international garrison did not bring peace to the country, it indirectly awakened new expectations for Afghan women through advertisements, networks and Bollywood movies, which led to more and more women starting to escape. They sparked a second war, the war between tradition and modernity. The documents on Samilla’s desk tell the story of the victims in this war.
Samira said that sometimes women she doesn’t know talk to her on the street and tell her about her fears. They will say, “Please help me, or I will commit suicide.” Shamira admits that she is also overwhelmed by this. What should she do? She is just a policeman.
| “Why are we so sad?”|
Another woman who often hears similar stories sits in a hospital in Kabul. Dr. Nachia is one of the few psychologists in Kabul. Although she and Shamira have never met, they are fighting the same problem, the psychological war of Afghan women.
One day in September, Dr. Nachia saw a woman wearing a Poca in her little treatment room, her face buried deep in her hands. This woman from the countryside, suffering from depression and panic attacks, lost several children in the war.
“Doctor, I always feel dizzy and chest pain.”
“I told you that you feel chest pain because of fear and stress. Have you breathed as I taught you?”
“Auntie, you have to remember: Why are we humans so sad? It is because of what happens to us. Feelings affect our brains, and our brains affect our bodies.”