acceptance —— Over the years, Kabul’s forbidding concrete blast walls were decorated with images condemning corruption, devotion to fallen journalists, portraits of iconic musicians, and pop art depictions of children transporting their hearts in buckets instead of buckets.

However, in the past four days, as the Taliban slowly smeared a text message of national unity on each photo, praising the jihadists because they were referring to their troops and the declaration of victory over the 20-year occupation of the United States. , These images have been whitewashed Afghanistan.

The bright and colorful images have been replaced by serious black-and-white text, stating that the Taliban “are your brothers and sons, and they are the protectors of this land and people.”

For Afghans who have experienced it, this phenomenon is reminiscent of the original rule of the Taliban from 1996 to 2001, when the organization banned images of people and animals.

Javid only revealed his name for security reasons. He was one of the artists commissioned by the Taliban to paint the portrait of the country’s Sikh community member and Tetsu Nakamura who were killed in the 2018 bombing. A Japanese doctor who had worked for decades in the eastern province of Nangarhar was killed in 2019.

“These people don’t know anything, even art. They tell us something like,’These letters should be as big as me,’” the 20-something-year-old said, while constantly looking behind him, saying Make sure that no Taliban is lurking behind the scenes. “Who did it?” he added.

The international relations student said that painting on images goes against everything he believes in. However, Javid said that the current state of the country’s economy forced him to participate in what he said amounted to a literal cover-up of progress and progress.

“They want us to go back to 20 years ago, when they put us in cages,” he said.

Since the Taliban came to power on August 15 and former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Afghan economy has suffered multiple blows. Initially, the bank was closed for more than a week. When they reopened, hundreds of people lined up outside the financial institution, desperate to regain cash. Many government and private offices are also still closed, leaving millions without income.

“Can you believe that we spend 600 Afghanis (US$6.95) a day?” Jod said.

Before the arrival of the Taliban, he said that he could earn 10 times the income every day through painting and other work. But now these sources of income have dried up, because people are unable to obtain physical funds, and the number of offices and businesses that have not yet resumed operations has affected the business of the entire city.

The most common criticism of these buildings is that they were built to protect wealthy and powerful people — government buildings, wealthy businessmen, warlords, members of Congress, former government officials — and to create new ones in the already overcrowded capitals of Afghanistan. Traffic bottleneck.

Regardless of what’s on it, the blast wall has long been a point of contempt for Afghanistan. In 2017, the government of former President Ashraf Ghani Start to remove Some explosion-proof walls, but many of them were quickly restored to their original condition. At the end of August, A week after coming to powerAfter that, the Taliban and Daoud Sultanzoy, the mayor of Kabul at the time, began to demolish the explosion-proof walls and concrete barriers.

“These walls create a suffocating environment for the people of Kabul because they block the streets,” Sultanzoy Said Among the thousands of 3.7-meter (12-foot) tall, steel-reinforced behemoths that occupied most of the streets of Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad, and Kandahar at the time.


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