Hopes And Fears Of Young Afghans As Taliban Talks Advance

February 04, 2019 08:00 GMT This year the generation of Afghans born in 2001, when a U.S.-backed coalition toppled the Taliban, comes of age. As the United States engages in talks with the militants, young Afghans speak of their hopes and concerns for the future.


Maram Atayee, 16, a pianist at the Afghan National Institute of Music, is concerned about a future role in government for the Taliban. "The thing I'm most worried about is that if they return, I won't be able to continue playing music."
1 Maram Atayee, 16, a pianist at the Afghan National Institute of Music, is concerned about a future role in government for the Taliban. “The thing I’m most worried about is that if they return, I won’t be able to continue playing music.”
Anosh Sarwari, 23, works in a coffee shop. "We are thirsty for peace. We want peace so people can run their businesses and live comfortably."
2 Anosh Sarwari, 23, works in a coffee shop. “We are thirsty for peace. We want peace so people can run their businesses and live comfortably.”
Doctor Mohammad Jawed Momand, 22. "Peace requires everyone to lay down their arms, and think about education and prosperity in our country."
3 Doctor Mohammad Jawed Momand, 22. “Peace requires everyone to lay down their arms, and think about education and prosperity in our country.”
Artist Mahdi Zahak, 25. "There is hope for peace. But the only way we can have peace is if they (the Taliban) accept the achievements made in this country in the past 17 years and let everyone enjoy their lives."
4 Artist Mahdi Zahak, 25. “There is hope for peace. But the only way we can have peace is if they (the Taliban) accept the achievements made in this country in the past 17 years and let everyone enjoy their lives.”
Kawsar Sherzad, 17, at her Thai boxing club in Kabul. "Afghan females have made a lot of achievements in sports. I am optimistic that the Taliban will accept these achievements."
5 Kawsar Sherzad, 17, at her Thai boxing club in Kabul. “Afghan females have made a lot of achievements in sports. I am optimistic that the Taliban will accept these achievements.”
Afghan model Omid Arman, 21. "Everyone has the desire for peace in this country. We've witnessed a lot of conflicts. It's enough, we don't want to be witnesses to any more tragedy."
6 Afghan model Omid Arman, 21. “Everyone has the desire for peace in this country. We’ve witnessed a lot of conflicts. It’s enough, we don’t want to be witnesses to any more tragedy.”
Freelance journalist Zainab Farahmand, 22. "We will only welcome the Taliban if they accept democracy and its values."
7 Freelance journalist Zainab Farahmand, 22. “We will only welcome the Taliban if they accept democracy and its values.”
Sultan Qasim Sayeedi, 18, scours social media to study fashion. "We're afraid that if the Taliban come, we will not be able to hold our shows." But he also says it's time the fighting ended. "If American troops go, peace will come."
8 Sultan Qasim Sayeedi, 18, scours social media to study fashion. “We’re afraid that if the Taliban come, we will not be able to hold our shows.” But he also says it’s time the fighting ended. “If American troops go, peace will come.”
Nadim Quraishi, 19, poses for a picture outside his game zone shop in Kabul. "We want to see an end to the current conflict in the country. We are hopeful for a lasting peace between the government and the Taliban."
9 Nadim Quraishi, 19, poses for a picture outside his game zone shop in Kabul. “We want to see an end to the current conflict in the country. We are hopeful for a lasting peace between the government and the Taliban.”
Zarghona Haidari, 22, works at a book store. "I'm not very optimistic about peace. I don't think the Taliban will make a deal with the government."
10 Zarghona Haidari, 22, works at a book store. “I’m not very optimistic about peace. I don’t think the Taliban will make a deal with the government.”
Owner of a luxury clothes shop Sohail Ataie, 22. "We are tired of war. What we want is peace, to live a better life."
11 Owner of a luxury clothes shop Sohail Ataie, 22. “We are tired of war. What we want is peace, to live a better life.”
Farzad Aslami, 18, at a snooker club in Kabul. "We want peace for the sake of our country's welfare. We don't want any more suicide attacks and explosions."
12 Farzad Aslami, 18, at a snooker club in Kabul. “We want peace for the sake of our country’s welfare. We don’t want any more suicide attacks and explosions.”
Hairdresser Hussain, 19, at a hair salon in Kabul. "I am optimistic about the Taliban joining the peace process." Like many young Afghans, Hussain grew up in neighbouring Iran where millions have taken refuge. "I want the Taliban to change their policy and not behave like before."
13 Hairdresser Hussain, 19, at a hair salon in Kabul. “I am optimistic about the Taliban joining the peace process.” Like many young Afghans, Hussain grew up in neighbouring Iran where millions have taken refuge. “I want the Taliban to change their policy and not behave like before.”
Singer Wasim Anwari, 19, at the Afghan Star talent show at Tolo television studio in Kabul. "Without peace there is no hope for a better future."
14 Singer Wasim Anwari, 19, at the Afghan Star talent show at Tolo television studio in Kabul. “Without peace there is no hope for a better future.”

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