Jalalabad – between women rights and taliban

I already thought I would know Afghanistan at least a bit but after my last trip on Friday and Saturday to Jalalabad I realized that I am still amazed about the country and have to learn a lot here. We had organised a conference towards Islamic law and the interpretation in Afghan law and so we took the car to Jalalabad…

I asked before at the German Embassy, if they have some experiences about security on this street and they promised to call me back. I did not espact anything but half an hour later the telephone rang and a security-policemen from German BKA said that he checked with UN and Afghan security and their securit service and the road might be okay, but he said, that still Jalalabad is dangerous for foreigners. But from my friends I knew that I am looking now, a bit browner, like an Afghan from Panshir valley – as they always joke about – and so we took the risk and drove three amazing hours between mountains from 4.000 till 5.000 meters, camels on the street and fast rivers on an unbelievable new street. As we managed the last high mountains we saw Jalalabad in front of us – a town like an island in a desert with much green, palms and great and undestroyed city-center. Next day the conference started with almost 70 people in the morning and their were even people waiting for the beginning before the official start… normally Afghan people are more then half or one hour late… And due to my great translator I managed to catch all details about Islamic law in thre hours, that is far away from our western understanding. Afterwards the discusion should start with the experts in panel-discusion but suddently the mullah said that for the discusion the women, that know nothing about Islam should leave the room – otherwise we have huge problems… Well, fortunatly their were some taff women from women-rights-organisation and they fighted against in a wild discusion with unclear end. Fortunatly we somehow managed to end the discusion and canceled the panel-discusion so both sides did not win, but it was very hard. Afterwards the woman introduced us with their situation, which is totally different from Kabul as the capital and said, that the mullahs were taliban and well-known in Jalalabad…

That was an amazing adventure in a beautiful town between women rights fighter and taliban and says a lot about the country and his possible perspectives. I almost got in troubles again, cause I was talking with the women too long for a foreigner and I had a female translater, that was also not suiting to the mullahs but they did not tried to argue again. I realized that our work can save human lifes and our office is doing great job and will come back to Jalalabad…

palms in Jalalabadon the way to hot summer
on the way back

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