An Essay by Sharifa Ahmadi
Last month around 8 pm in the evening in early July in Kabul province, my husband and I were watching videos in his Facebook account. It was a summer night. We had bought meat to cook rissoles and our dinner was cooking on the stove. We were watching, laughing and talking.
Suddenly, everything around us started shaking with a very dangerous sound. We held each other and moved to go down the stairs. We live on the fourth floor and the shaking continued until we reached the second floor when it stopped.
Then I noticed I was only wearing shirt and pants. This would be very bad if people were to see me out of my home without covering! I asked if my neighbors, also leaving their rooms, could bring a scarf for me. She brought a very big cloth and it covered all my body. Then we all went downstairs and stood on the road.
We were confused. Was this shaking an earthquake or bomb blast or suicide attack? We waited there for about five to ten minutes then everything went back to normal and we returned to our room.
Since there wasn’t any television to follow the news, we logged onto Facebook. Most Facebook users posted differing information and questions: like it was a dangerous shake or where was it or it’s not earthquake or was it a bomb blast or earthquake?. They expressed fears and prayers.
Later the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority confirmed a magnitude 4.6 earthquake with the epicenter in the Paghman district, located in western Kabul province, about 18 miles from the capital. But, it was a shallow earthquake that night occurring at a depth of 8km.
However, we live in a place where we do not know when will be our last moment of being alive on earth.
We mistake even natural disasters like earthquakes with disasters like bombings, which happen every day around us. This earthquake reminds us that living in an unsafe country effects our daily lives and our minds. I am happy no one was hurt. But I am always yearning for peace — for a minute and forever.
About the Author: Sharifa Ahmadi is from Bamyan, Afghanistan. She recently graduated with her MS in Mathematics from a university in India. She wants to raise her voice through her writing on behalf of women who live in many difficult places.