list of mundane things that feel like ancient human rituals
cleaning or wipe your bare feet
breaking off a piece of bread and handing it to someone
putting the weight of a basket on your hip or head
eating nuts or berries while hunched over close to the ground
seeing something startling just out of your line of sight and very quickly stepping or leaping on to a larger object to get a better view
cupping your hands into running water to wash your face
the unanimous protection of a baby or child in a public space where women are present
when an elderly woman laughs and grips your forearm tightly
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The Taliban has retaken control of Afghanistan!
As Taliban fighters took Kabul on Sunday evening, roaming through the halls of the abandoned presidential palace, the group issued a statement: It would soon revive Afghanistan’s former name.
The country that was built in the wake of the 2001 U.S. invasion at a cost of over $2 trillion would revert to the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” (That’s the name the country bore between 1996 and 2001).
The Taliban, which means "students" in the Pashto language, have been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since they were ousted from power in 2001.
The group was formed by "mujahideen" fighters who fought Soviet forces in the 1980s with the backing of the CIA.
Emerging in 1994 as one of several factions fighting a civil war, the Taliban gained control of much of the country by 1996 and imposed its own strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law.
Men were forced to grow beards. Women were forced to wear burqas, flowing garments that cover the entire face and body. Schools for girls were shuttered. Women who were unaccompanied in public places could be beaten. Soccer was banned. So was music, aside from religious chants. The Taliban government held public executions in Kabul’s Ghazi Stadium.
There were photos of children dying of preventable illnesses in a dilapidated pediatric hospital. Images of the ancient Buddhist statues pulverized by the Taliban because its leaders considered the stone images to be idolatrous. The sea of refugees and displaced people living in makeshift tents across the region.
The group is infamous for its use of suicide bombers and has been accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding kidnapped Western citizens for ransom.
Only four countries recognised the Taliban when it was last in power: neighbouring Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkemnistan.
After sheltering Osama bin Laden and key al Qaeda figures in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Taliban would fall after a US-led military coalition launched an offensive on 7 October 2001.
Despite being ousted from power, the Taliban would continue a guerrilla war against the Western-backed governments and US-led forces in the country.
Around 150,000 British military personnel have served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, and 457 have been killed.
Also, 2,448 American service members have died in the conflict.
The Taliban entered into talks with the US in 2018 and struck a ‘peace’ deal in February 2020 which committed the US to withdraw its troops while preventing the Taliban from attacking US forces.
However, the Taliban have continued to kill Afghan security forces and civilians...
If there is 1 image that symbolized the brutality of the Taliban regime in 90s, it was that of a woman in a blue burqa being executed in public in KBL’s stadium.
An Afghan judge hits a woman with a whip in front of a crowd in Ghor province, Afghanistan August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Pajhwok News Agency.
A member of the Taliban's religious police beating an Afghan woman in Kabul on August 26, 2001. The footage, filmed by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, can be seen at pz.rawa.org/rawasongs/movie/beating.mpg
The cover of the Aug. 9 issue of Time magazine features a photo of Aisha, an 18-year-old Afghan woman with a mutilated nose. Time Inc./AP
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