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Afghan trauma

Soon, five years after the Taliban attack, the West is still failing the ravaged population.


In December 2005, I spent several hours daily in the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, interviewing some of those who passed by. The hotel has experienced several tough times during Afghanistan's 23 years of war. In 1992, I used the hotel as a bunker for more than a month. First as the communist regime faltered and fell, then as the civil war spread in the city below me. Throughout much of the next decade, the hotel lacked both electricity and water, and you never met an Afghan woman in there.

When I sat on the sofa in the hotel lobby in 2005, I had on my left a former Taliban commander with a beard down to his waist, and on my right a young and beautiful Afghan woman from Herat, who met the demands to cover herself. only with a loosely laid head scarf. They were both members of the new Afghan parliament. . .

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