M.ohammad has just come back from a conference on the occasion of the International Youth Day which was attended by more than a hundred people. While the Taliban conquer one Afghan provincial capital after another, there are still events in Kabul with titles such as “Women for Peace” or “Nation-Building and Justice”. “What should we do? The conference had been scheduled since January. We can’t just stop everything. That’s life in Afghanistan, ”says Mohammad, whose name is actually quite different. To get his real name in the paper would be too risky, however.
Mohammad belongs to that scene of people who have brought Afghanistan into the modern age over the past twenty years. Who, with the support of foreign donors, campaigned for media freedom, women’s rights and democracy. Because of this work, they are now in danger. That is why the morning conference was no longer about what can be done to move the country forward, as it used to be. It was about whether it was time to leave. “Many journalists and representatives of civil society are looking for ways to ensure their survival,” says Mohammad. That doesn’t mean that everyone wanted to go to Germany or Great Britain straight away. Some would rather have Uzbekistan in mind as a temporary alternative location. “If I knew that the Taliban wouldn’t hurt me, I’d rather stay here,” says Mohammad. He knows the extremists have been watching him for years.