Being surrounded by violence, oppression and injustice is a great ordeal for the people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Taliban has exerted its rigid laws against the will of the people and has restricted all forms of freedom. Senior Gul-Agha Tameem M. Jalal, an Afghan-American student at CHS, has witnessed the harsh lives of the Afghan people under Taliban rule and continues to voice his opinions and concerns about Afghanistan.
When Jalal lived in Afghanistan, there were numerous incidents of violence against women by the Taliban rulers. For example, a famous female poet was shot by the Taliban in front of thousands of people in the Kabul stadium. At the time, Jalal was young and could not quite comprehend the situation. When Jalal grew up, he started to realize the horrifying situation that the Taliban had imposed on Afghanistan.
“After getting older, it all came to my head, and I realized that this is who the Taliban really is,” said Jalal.
Jalal and his grandparents decided to come back to the United States in 2005. Living in the United States, he realized how lucky he was to have freedom of speech, press and religion–something the Taliban government never condoned in their society.
Recently, Jalal shared his experiences with CHS students during the Malala Visual/Performing Arts Benefit Concert. Jalal is a huge supporter of her campaigns in women’s rights and education.
“We need help from people to help sustain and run proper schooling so kids get the education that they deserve,” said Jalal.
In the future, Jalal hopes to make a difference by entering politics to improve the situation in Afghanistan. One day, he intends to end all the internal tensions within the country and bring about a reformed, upright government to help Afghan society truly progress and prosper.