Narrating a catastrophe; Sights and facts
The nineteenlowers that faded.
I do not know what time it was, my colleague, Fawad Azimi called from the office gate; Get out and escape, the invaders have entered the university. I was Shocked, I went out to the office door, but several colleagues were inside, and they were held in the office; I went back and emptied the office as the students fled to unknown destination.
My first word to the students was to go to the gate of the Higher Education Ministry. We considered it our responsibility to guide the large number of students to the gates to rescue their lives, and we succeeded.
We lift among the last people; The president of Kabul University, the university’s vice-chancellor, and security associates entered higher education and took shelter in one of the offices we thought it was safe.
Over time, friends made more and more calls, and we assured them that we are okay. Over time, the ministry deputy head and the chief of staff joined us. Using the facilities and communications, we contacted all the colleagues and made sure of their status. This situation continued until 4 in the evening. Sometimes we received good news and sometimes disappointing news, and in the final hours of the tragedy, we received bad news and pictures that brought tears to everyone’s eyes.
After 4 o’clock, the attackers were exhausted and we were allowed to enter the university. A group of 10 civilians, including officials from the Ministry of Higher Education and the University, me and my colleague Fawad Azimi and I entered Kabul University.
As we approached to the scene of the disaster, anyone could feel the horror. Internal and external forces had entered the university to contain the attack, and we approached with a thousand apprehensions.
Security forces still did not allow individuals to enter the law Legal Training Center, and Security officials were conducting their final investigations, and still, their duty was not completed. Foreign forces were leaving the area, and commandos controlled all areas of Kabul university.
In the meantime, the research team shared with statistics of the students who were martyred; 19 flowers that welled. The moment when none of us could shed tears and sigh.
The research team asked the university board to nominate two people to hand over the stuffed herds. The time of assignment and appointing for a new task was on the way. The university chancellor was asked by the security officials to nominate two civilian representatives to collect the university student’s staff and equipment who was martyred during this bloody attack. The university appointed me, and my colleague Fawaz Azimi to take responsibility and assign the task.
As we moved on to the scene, my life’s most challenging moments were started; my feet were not helping me to enter the classrooms! In the first steps towards the center, I saw the lifeless body of Shershah, the university’s director of real estate, lying in front of the legal center gate, and we had to approach, and we were tasked to enter the center. We reached the classes; the innocent students were lying innocently on the ground and lying quietly. My tears flowed but it was still the beginning of this path. We entered the atrium, only my eyes could see two things; Blood and broken glass berries.
We had to enter the classrooms where the young and new generation of students were bleeding, but our assignment was to deliver our 19 martyrs’ goods. We approached the classroom, where 14 of our sweethearts were sleeping, most of them girls. We entered the room, and the head of the office sighed while seeing the first martyr, and his cries broke the silence of the room. I had encountered such a scene for the first time; I found myself after a few minutes. I was struck while I saw to the eyes first martyr’s closely, who I think was the first person to be sacrificed in this room. I could not stand it and went out for a second, and my tears were so burning this time, one of the security force members came with me and shed tears.
The head of the office called out that we must end the responsibility; I had to keep my cell phone light on to identify the dead bodies better. I was standing; My eyes were on the phone, the sound of which was muffled by the intensity of the call. All I could think about was who should take on this big responsibility to answer the calls.
We counted one, two, and three … the young man called, and I tried to identify him before I respond to his questions.
All the collected phones fell into my hands. The bell rang from inside the room where we were, but we still did not have the potency to answer the phones. I looked at the phone and picked it up. My voice rose again, and my tears increased.
In the room where the 14 young men were killed, we finished our responsibilities and had to go to another classroom; The university’s Deane, deputy minister of higher education, were also allowed to enter the corridor. No one was able to talk in all these days because they had strangled everyone; no one could be seen because the water was flowing.
We were discussing that another call was received on one of the phones. I turned to the president in a president shed voice and said; this is the call of a phone owner family member, and they are dying every moment, what should we do? The university president could not answer and only pointed out, the deputy minister of education said that you should answer.
An unfinished responsibility added another heavy burden to me; I had to tell the family of martyrs’ that their family member is not alive, and their son or daughter has passed away in this bloody incident. Painful moments that I wished to never had such experience!
After a short delay, I decided to answer one of the calls; While we were among the swarming meadows and had to shed tears, I did not see who it was, I answered. At first, I heard a man saying, what is this phone doing in your hand and why you are carrying it; When I lost myself, I said that these phones had been handed over to us and I don’t know that this phone belongs to who. He asked me: What happened to its owner? I could not answer and said I do not know you can call later. I felt my knees bend, and I had to lean instead. The contacts continued. I noticed on the phone that he had called 142 times and finally received a message; Where are you, my son? How hard it was to see those moments.
We entered another classroom when I saw a young man who was running away. We had two martyrs in this room, and we had to receive our belongings.
It was decided to move these devices to a safe place inside the university. In cooperation with the University President’s Office head, we transferred the martyrs’ belongings to a safe place, but the phones were still in my hands in the plastic. The vibrations of the earphones did not subside, and we went outside.
We reunited outside the building, and the calls continued; The deputy minister told me that we had to answer. Families have a right to know, but tell them to give up forensics.
I answered another call; a girl raised her voice, saying that this phone belongs to someone else. I said, what do you have to do with him, she told me that the phone owner is my friend. I said only one sentence; Our dear sister, the phone owner, is among the martyrs, and with condolences, he is no more.
The girl behind the phone, her crying, was unstoppable, and her cry was so intense that I raised my voice; my God!
On the way, I had the opportunity to answer another phone call. On that side of the phone and an old man called and said, “Where is the owner of this phone?” I said, Kaka Jan “uncle,” what do you have to do with him? he said we are worrying about him, and I am the uncle of the phone owner; I said in a trembling voice that the owner of this phone had been martyred.
During these two hours of being in the midst of disaster and busy taking responsibility, I could not answer a few calls; Mother and Father, I was terrified about the matter to their parents, and when answering other phone calls, I first inquired about their affinity and then shared the matter.
This was the only part of my vision I wrote. I could not write from seeing the full herds, from the closed eyes, from the cold being, from every classroom where the futurists slept, and how.
I was on my way to home, my tears were flowing unconsciously, the young man in the car asked if he was a benefactor? I said in a hushed voice; Today, they repainted our youth.
I think I’m still in shock at those moments, and my tears still do not give me a chance to talk to friends.
I do not know how and with what literature I wrote!
Ahmad Fawad Azimi