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Afghanistan: The End of the U.S. Footprint and the Rise of the Taliban Rule

Hollie McKay

Top 10 Best Quotes

“What would you do if rockets barraged your home and you had nowhere to hide? What would you take if you only had ten seconds to fill a plastic bag? Where would you go if every street you turned onto was filled with fighters? Who would you save if all your children were buried beneath the rubble and crying?”

“We can pontificate all day about statistics and percentages and death tolls and displacement numbers, easily forgetting that numbers have names and names have faces. Each face has wrinkles that make up a map filled with tragedies to tell.”

“Then there is the callous side, the war-wracked sentiment, the notion that a Band-Aid was ripped from the bullet wound. The fear for what comes next, the longing many Afghans have to leave, the unraveling humanitarian catastrophe, the hunger pains fused with the ache of abandonment.”

“The sounds of music have dimmed into a self-censored silence. We pause, we gaze for far too long at the markets from a broken window where Kabul's finest orchestras weeks ago were still learning to play. We linger, remembering what used to be.”

“Somehow, we must let go of the past and remember it at the same time. We must embrace the reality that is, not the reality we want to be, and do what we can to be a helping hand.”

“My view from the window consists of mounds of clay dried to dust. I see delicate girls wrapped in brightly colored hijabs bent over in the fiery heat, carrying heavy bundles on their heads like people in a primeval time and place. Burqa-clad beggars sit with their babies beside bombed-out roads, waiting for those passing by to throw a coin or a bottle of water their way.”

“Little girls smile through their sadness, women weep, and hunger burns through the hollow lives of those who plead for someone, anyone, to listen to their misery.”

“In the end, it came down to tea and talking just as much as bullets and butchery.”

“I think of an Afghan driver I once had, a medical student who spoke whimsically of the homeland he loved so dearly but so badly wanted to leave. 'We Afghans are unlucky people,' the driver had whispered. "But we would be the luckiest people if the wars ever left—look outside at this magical place.”

“Every child born in Afghanistan is a child who comes into life a victim of war. And every parent too often puts those they love most to sleep with the uncertainty that one or all may not rise to the shards of peeping pink light again.”

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Book Keywords:

foreign-policy, children, war, motivational, photography, politics, reporter, conflict

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