12 November 2009, 7:40 am. The sky was clear, the mighty sun replaced the morning dew with its radiant illuminating rays. Daud woke to the routine call to prayer, he rubbed his blurry eyes and looked around him, exhaled and rubbed his eyes again as if trying to wake up to the smell of his mother’s cooking instead he is still haunted by his Kalashnikov in front of him. He jumped out of his hammock and strapped on his weapon on his shoulders and walked to location he was instructed last night. He climbed hills and disfigured rocks with his torn, worn out sandal effortlessly even the weight of his enormous weapon did not burden him. Daud came across a small tea stall where a group of old bearded ‘holy’ men sat counting beads on a line of string with their fingers and sipping tea. One man looked at Daud, grinned and proudly said “Asalam wa’aliekum”. Asalam wa’aliekum? Peace be upon you? What peace did they speak of? These men were clearly brainwashed and blind toward humanity. Daud bit his tongue and nodded reluctantly. He finally climbed the last hill for the rendezvous and saw his fellow young ‘mujahedeens’ loading their guns and filling a number of pickup trucks with ammunition and explosives. It looked like their going for yet another killing rampage. Just another day; kill or be killed.
Daud Karzai’s parents and home was snatched from him at the young age of 11 when the Taliban stormed the northern region of Banu near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Taliban took control and scavenged Dauds village, they captured all those who opposed them and burned down the houses leaving nothing but ashes and memory behind. They, one-by-one, executed the men who did not share their fanatic mission of spreading strict sharia law. Daud’s mother was left a widow that day. His father had collapsed lifelessly on the hard ground soaked in his own blood. His mother left to stare motionlessly at his body is if it were an abyss. Daud was tied and placed on one of the Taliban pick-up trucks in such a position that he could see the traumatizing expression of his mother. Completely petrified, Daud could not even utter simple words rather move. The Taliban satisfied their amusement and drove off with Daud on the trunk seeing his life change in a matter minutes. His eyes consistently staring at the aftermath and especially his mother who lifted her eyes towards Daud with the utmost effort, as if life had been sucked out of her. They both look into each other’s eyes trying to make sense of what just happened, millions of questions buzzing in their minds ‘what now?’, ‘will we ever see each other again?’ ‘Why us?’, ‘is God punishing us?’ And just like that Dauds life changed. The trucks at the rendezvous point were almost ready it was just a matter of time before they leave. Daud saw one of his fellow soldier, Jeddah, sit next to a small lake away from the group and went to sit with him. “Salaam, are you alright?” Daud asked.
Jeddah turned his head, looked at him dead in the eye and regarded him with frustration. “Sorry” realising how stupid his question was. They sat there for a while gazing the clear water. Jeddah sighed and finally broke the silence “If…if you had a chance, what would you wanna be when you grow up?” He asked, looking straight as if talking to himself. “Umm…well I never thought about it but a pilot I guess ……. What about you?” “..I loved my family especially my grandfather, he was my everything……he suffered a stroke a few years ago and passed away…..they all passed away…., they said he could survive if we could afford a doctor...…..I vowed to be a doctor after that day so I can try to stop people from dying … I wanted to lessen grieving and bring happiness to people….. Hahaha ironic isn’t it? I’m sitting here saying I want to be a life saver yet I kill innocent woman and children for no...
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