By: Masouda Qarizada
In many conflict-ridden countries, youth perspectives are often overlooked or underrepresented, but youth in Afghanistan are actively promoting peace and countering violent extremism in innovative ways.
Political instability and violent conflict have plagued the state for decades, and this exposure to violence and uncertainty has shaped the lives of Afghanistan’s youth population. With a staggering 67% of the population being under the age of 25, Afghanistan holds one of largest percentages of youth populations in the world. Due to their large number, youth have become a target for extremist organization recruitment efforts. In response, Afghan youth are speaking out about their experiences and are advancing dialogues that emphasize the need for peace and inclusion.
An Afghan youth Sayed Akbar says that besides terrorism, a serious disease is threatening the life of masses across the globe. “The war-torn Afghanistan is also unfortunately facing the threats of Coronavirus and is expanding with passing each day.”
“The Afghan youth are being martyred in combat fields against the insurgents. They are also being victimized while migration as well as struggling with addiction and unemployment,” he added, saying the newly emerged virus has been now threatening them too.
Another Kabul resident, Hamed Andishmand says that was living in a country where the air pollution seriously threatens the life of citizens and that literacy rates was low too. “Afghans still struggling to achieve peace and stability, but the new virus now has shadowed all our activities as there is no treatments to the disease,” he added. He asked youth to join hand with the government and other citizens in a bid to curb the spread of the virus in the country. “We should consider cleanness in all our affairs and avoid mass gathering as already instructed by the government.”
He went on asking other people to act based on Ministry of Public Health instructions and avoid any move that lead to the spread of the COVID-19 in the country.
Meanwhile replying to a question of The Kabul Times daily, a religious scholar Ghulam Mohammad Joya said that to fight the virus was everyone’s religious, social and human obligation, asking countrymen and women to act based on the instructions of the medics.
He said that Islam was the religion of peace, solidarity, education and health and therefore it was the responsibility of all the Muslims to follow the instructions of the holy religion.