Afghanistan: A Personal History

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It’s hard to talk about Afghanistan’s recent history without talking about a much longer history and tradition. Those of us who are the children of the Mujahideen grew up on stories of our ancestors defeating Alexander the Great and the British Colonial Empire. When I talk to my generation, who grew up when Afghanistan’s current fighting began, about 40 years ago, they talk about those days with a fervor – our families suffered immensely and sacrificed dozens of uncles and relatives to the struggle against Soviet imperialism, but this wasn’t something that happened in isolation.

We’re Afghans – we’ve been killing colonizers since our history began. Not only that, we’ve been taking down their empires with them. The oldest photo we have of our family was stumbled upon by my father who one day found himself looking at his ancestors staring back at him when researching the second Anglo-Afghan war. A proud moment for a man who prides himself on being from a long line of anti imperialists

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