Luckily, the LA Times has provided everyone with an article interviewing average Afghans and asked them their view of the future...and by average I mean teenagers and 20-somethings who live a sheltered life in a gated section of Kabul. I had no idea a neighborhood like that existed. It's good to get their perspective but I take most of what they have to say with a grain of salt, especially when they say things like:
Tooba doesn't worry about what her life might look like after the departure of most U.S. and allied foreign troops next year.
"It will be the same," she says, nibbling a date. "This is a dangerous place for Americans, but not for Afghans."And I thought I was out of touch up here at the IJC. I highly doubt rural Afghans who have daily dealings with the Taliban and other insurgents would agree with 16-year-old Tooba. Here's another gem:
"There are many modern men here in Afghanistan," Hazhir says, "so I don't think the war will begin again."These two are so out of touch I kind of feel sorry for them. Although I'm pretty sure I was a similar know-it-all-asshole when I was 17. I'm glad teenagers in Afghanistan are just as teentarded as teenagers in the States are (teen-tarded? I wish I could take credit for coming up with that word).
His friend Abdullah Hakimi, also 17, nods. "The Taliban just come with big turbans and long beards," he says between bites. "I think they look funny.… They are not as strong as people think."
I prefer the attitude of the individual in the third part of the article. A 23-year-old shop owner whose family never left Afghanistan during the civil war and Taliban rule of the 90's. His cynical humor makes me smile and he's not completely naive about the future.
The ambition and dreams of the youths who were interviewed is to be admired. I feel for them and truely hope they are the future of Afghanistan. However, I believe many of them are in for a rude awakening come 2014 and beyond.