“I have seen women and children killed in front of me, without being able to rebel. I had to say goodbye to a life built in small steps, to work, to affections and memories ”. Impotence is the most terrible of the sensations felt by Karim, the invented name of a young Afghan escaped from the fury of the Taliban. Two months ago the boy was welcomed in the military base of San Polo, in Piacentino, for the period of quarantine after an emergency military flight from Kabul to Rome. And today he agreed to tell his experience at Telelibertà e Libertà.
The Taliban advance in Afghanistan has also shocked the West. In August, the fundamentalists reconquered the country after twenty years, destroying every garrison of civilization promoted by the US and its allies. What cannot be forgotten? “People treated like beasts. Or maybe worse. The women and children killed in front of my eyes, unable to do anything. These images will never disappear ”, replies the boy, who in Afghanistan ran a construction and logistic material business within a military area in Herat. “I was working with the Italian contingent. My company supplied some components for the construction of buildings, in collaboration with the Italian forces ”.
Karim understood that he had to escape “when the Italian army left Herat. There was nothing more to be done. I have abandoned over twenty containers of merchandise in my company. The Taliban saw them, they tracked me down and let me know that they would try to kill me, because I was an entrepreneur in contact with Western institutions. I got scared, a lot. It was terrifying. Shortly before Herat fell, when it was now surrounded by fundamentalists, I managed to evacuate to Kabul, the Afghan capital. I kept changing shelters to avoid being identified, I even locked myself in a hangar without eating for one night. It was an Italian soldier who led me to safety in the protected area of the airport. But Westerners were too few to welcome and manage all the desperate, fleeing people ”.
The photos of the people massed outside the Kabul airport in desperate search for a way out to save themselves from the Taliban fury remain indelible. “At the end of August, I saw hundreds of compatriots die in front of my eyes in the terrorist attack at the airport. I’ll never forget it. There were women and children killed, lifeless. It was terrible. This tragedy has left a scar on my soul ”.
Has the West Failed in Afghanistan? “US troops and allies have done their utmost to renew our society. But unfortunately it was not enough ”.
THE INTERVIEW BY THOMAS TRENCHI:
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