Video Producer: Maaz Hasan
Illustrations: Arnica Kala
Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
It’s been one-and-a-half months since the Taliban completely took over Afghanistan, and the prices of the commodities in the country have started to soar. Now, the Afghans have to fight inflation in the absence of jobs and struggling businesses.
I haven’t received my salary for three months and now buying essentials for my family has become incredibly difficult. I have just been borrowing from the people I know. But for how long can they help me?
“Before the Taliban came, the price of 50 kg flour was $31, now it’s $45, the price of 20 litre of cooking oil was $29, nowadays it’s $48. One litre of petrol was only half-a-dollar, and today, it is more than a dollar per litre. Gas costs the same as petrol. But fruits are not very expensive as they are homegrown and we are not able to export to foreign countries because the borders are closed.”
But then I don’t see many people buying fruits, fish or meat because for us, those are luxuries now. We are just trying to stay alive! More than half of the population is living under the line of poverty. Thousands of families over here have nothing to eat. They are not able to provide the least daily meal for their children.
Even the banking system is nearing collapse.
“The banking system is also down. Every bank gives $200 per week to each customer, so businessmen are not able to get the required money from the banks to import items in the country. So, business and trade is completely down.”A Professor From Afghanistan
Taliban Imposes New Rules
Along with all these problems in our lives, come newer restrictions everyday. From imposing burqas forcefully on women to banning men from trimming beards, the Taliban have gone all out to control our lives at micro levels.
In the last few days, in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, the Taliban made some announcements for the civilians that people must not cut their beards and they have informed the hairdressers that if any of them trim/ cut beard, they will be punished.
“Yesterday (28 September), they announced in Kandahar that no one should listen to music and you must not play music at weddings. So, the situation between the Taliban and civilians is very serious.”A Professor From Afghanistan
At many places, many a time, they torture civilians on these small issues. Earlier, we had many hopes for our country. These actions by the Taliban make us hopeless.
(The author of the story is an assistant professor at a university in Afghanistan. For security reasons, their identity has been concealed.)
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