The Hopeless Afghan Child



Nazar Mohammad Mutmaeen

Afghan writer and political Analyst based in Kabul

There is a handsome child with a half a meter old and dirty piece of cloth waiting on the road; the child is supposed to be at school at that time, but he/she cleans the front-door glasses of expensive vehicles including Hilux and Cruise, in case, there is rush on the road and vehicles cannot be driven fast, just for getting 5, 10 (8 -16 Penny, 1 USD = 60 Afs) or more Afghanis from those who set in front seats of these vehicles. This child does this job in winter’s cold weather and even when it snows, in the case, the people enjoying the heater in their cars even do not pull down the glasses of their vehicles to them. The same story repeats in the hot summer, the owners of these expensive cars while enjoying the air conditioner, do not pull the glasses of their vehicles down to the child who runs with their car in order to clean their vehicles’ glasses, just for getting 5 Afghanis.

There is not one, two, two hundreds or a thousand of such children (girls and boys) in Kabul, but they are tens of thousands; they do this job and run after vehicles when it is their school time, just if they could receive something from the people sitting in these vehicles.

A lot of drivers shout at the child, oh guy! Your cleaner is dirty, go away, do not make my car’s glasses dirty, no need; do not clean it and so on.

And some others carry 2 Afghanis banknotes with them and provide it to the child (girl/boy) that is running after their vehicles.

A lot of times, I have seen handsome and lovely children that clean the glasses of expensive vehicles but the Their Majesties having presence in these vehicles do not bother just to say the children that they do not have change; the child (girl/boy) runs with them and eventually become disappointed and stop pursing them. They wait to another vehicle in order to receive some cash from them, then.

When someone sees the irritating situation of these children, might think of Feudalism and Marxism, both of them are against Islam, but, perhaps, they would be the product of such disappointments.

If we obey Islam, there would be no need for such children to run and suffer bad living conditions. On the other hand, the number of beggars is significantly increased in Kabul; whenever cars slowdown in a heavy traffic, you would see boys, girls and/or women standing next to those cars and asking for money. You would even see beggars asking from cars attending petrol pump stations.

A day in Shah-e Du Shamshira area of Kabul, I saw a very handsome 8 years old child that was running after an expensive Cruise just in order to receive a penny, but His Excellency sitting at the backseat of the vehicle did not bother to have a look to that child, and the child, after running for a longtime with that vehicle, eventually left pursuing the Cruise without receiving any money. In that moment, a thought came to my mind, what would be this child’s feelings after rich people, when he/she grew and gained power.

Another incorrect tradition that is issued in Kabul is, when a car take passengers, you then would see a school-aged lovely child that loudly shouting Kot-e Sangi, His-e Du, His-e Se, Charahi Qambar, Darulaman…

When the car is fully occupied by passengers, the driver pay 4 or 5 Afghanis to this beautiful child, and I some times have seen that the drivers do not pay the child even with those 4 or 5 Afghanis, either. So, what would be this child’s feelings after rich people, when he/she grew and gained power?

There would be another child, holding wild rue in his hand, waiting in front of a shop, next to a car; but the shopkeeper, the driver would sometimes provide him/her with 2 or 5 Afghanis and sometime not. They would sometimes threat, insult and tease this child for making them uneasy or disturb with the smoke of wild rue in their shop and/or their car.

This child with wild rue’s casket that faces various disappointments and untoward treatments as of rich people every day; what would be his/her feelings after rich people, when he/she grew and gained power.

There would be a pretty child in Afghani clothes or in pantaloons selling inexpensive goods including chewing gum, juice and other things, he would ask every passenger sitting in car, bus and etc. that he could not sell anything today, please buy a chewing gum with 5 Afghanis, please buy a juice and so on. But, sometimes this child walks from that car and/or bus such a hopeless away that he, in the entire world, cannot see anyone to help him to find a morsel of bread to his family; then, what would be this child’s feelings after rich people, when he/she grew and gained power.

Youth would be sitting in the beach, a small child holding a heavy basket containing 5 Afghanis or 5 Pakistani Rupees (in Jalalabad, 8 & 4 penny) small plastic bags full of peanuts and seeds of melon, pumpkin and other things; all of them would be cheap; he/she would ask these youth to buy their goods but they would tease him/her. What would this child that carry heavy basket for entire day in hot and cold weather, feel of reach people, when he/she got power.

A child in the North or Paghman would carry Peraki/Bolani (A kind of bread cooked in oil containing potatoes or leek), the youth who are gone on party would be sitting in groups, and that child would be attending every group of youth and telling them that they are homemade Peraki/Bolani and have good taste, I could not sell them from the morning, please you buy them; he/she would hopelessly walk away from them, also. This child would walk the entire day; he/she would see youth (boys and girls) enjoying meals, fishes and fresh fruits, in the case, he/she would be digging in order to find someone to buy their 5 or 10 Afghanis Peraki/Bolani. What would be the feelings of this child toward reach people, when he/she got power?

There would be youth and people ordering delicious meals for themselves, in this time, a child (girl or boy) carrying a bag would ask them and moan whether if they want their shoes polished, they, having various kebabs, rice, drink and etc. on their table, would shout on this child, do not bother us, no need, go away and so on. The child would become disappoint but for the last time, he/she would ask them that he/she could not work for today, so pay him/her however they wish, but he/she would receive negative response again, so whenever this child gain power, what would be his/her feelings toward rich people.

There would be another child holding a small scale, he/she would stand in front of youth and would ask them whether if they want to check their weight; the youth would ask them for the cost, the child would say it is 5 Afghanis per person. The 5 youths would ask them whether he/she get totally 15 Afghanis; the child would tell them yes because there is not any other work opportunities provided from them. Eventually, the youth would tell him/her that they do not want to check their weight; the child (girl or boy) would walk away with a broken-heart from them, then.

The entire children (boys and girls), I mentioned and/or I could not mention their other hard and grievous situations due to the length of the article, are supposed to be at school, they are expected to be having clean clothes, sitting at classes and being educated for the future; they should have sit alongside with rich people’s children at same chair and same class. But, the latest 37 years of war have caused a lot of families to become without a headman, so they have to make their children earn a living for them which would be 50 to 80 Afghanis per entire day.

The children could not benefited from the countless money of the International Community; the rich authorities loot it from them, they spent their rights on their own children, they steal the school’s building from them, also; the budget is specified for a school and its report is written only on the paper but there is no school building in the area. The oil and biscuits that were given to children at schools in the South were stolen by their teacher and the children were not giving their full rights.

In the society where there is no place and no respect for child, where there is some so-called organizations for protecting children rights that are established only to earn money through this way; if this disappointed child who is excluded from his/her rights grew and gained power, what would be his/her feelings toward rich people and the society?

Where are the Afghan government and the Westerns that claim children, girls and women rights; is not this child girl, maiden, sister and mother of tomorrow? Definitely, the exclaiming of Westerns about women rights means something else; otherwise, this child girl is the worthiest in order to be taken care, aided, protected and provided with facilities and to receive education in female schools.

Oh God, please rescue our lovely, poor, needy and excluded children that their families are looking forward to their future, from this grievous situation; Oh God, I am begging you. The governments established by aliens’ hands would never take care of essential needs/problems of the Afghan nation.


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