Dec 29, 2021

Afghanistan's women fighting back

One of the convincing and yet stereotype narratives of war on terror in Afghanistan has been linked with liberation of women. Afghan women have always been portrayed as oppressed, helpless, and always in need of help. Since the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the only group who has dared to take the streets in protest against the Taliban's violence and oppression are Afghanistan's women.  Here is a clip I saw on Twitter today. You can google or go on twitter to find more about these courageous ladies who stand up against gun-wielding Taliban. 


This video was sent me today and I download, I can't remember where but it is also circulated on twitter

Dec 28, 2021

the illusion of homeland

I was talking to a forlorn friend of mine the other day who talked sadly about her country, a place she called home. I totally understood her feelings. Years ago, I was in the same situation as she is now. But the reality is that there is no such thing as a "home" or "homeland" but an illusion. This illusion is being made by the political demarcation of the modern world created by European nationalism in the last two hundred years. In every way, they sewed clothes for their communities to monopolize the culture, language and, most importantly, the people.

Until the early twentieth century, there were barely a few demarcated boundaries as a nation or country in the Middle East and Asia and many of the borders that exist today. I write this to say that we humans have always been and will always be immigrants. Our ancestors traveled from Africa, went to Asia, the Middle East and some went to Europe. For whatever reason, we will be migrants or refugees today and tomorrow, either because of wars and conflicts, or because of the lack of resources resulted from the global climate change which is created by the industrial countries that are responsible for the refugee crisis as a result.

Obviously, this feeling is personal and I'm also speaking to my fellow Hazaras. We have been driven out of our lands several times in the past 200 years. We have been driven out of low lands (like Kandahar and Helmand) to high lands (Hazarajat). I see Afghanistan as just a physical place for us. We take the rest of our belongings with us wherever we go. Afghanistan will be a difficult place for Hazaras to live a peaceful life because we have never lived in peace for the past 200 years.

Dec 12, 2021

legal scamming by airlines

I bought a one-way ticket through Alaska Airlines the other day but soon realized I need to change it but when I tried, it didn't work. I contacted the customer service and here is my chat with them. Airlines like Alaska are using customer's vulnerability to sell cheaper tickets within a limited window of time for travel (which they know that often people can't make it) and if costumers want to change, they can't because it is designed to ensnare customers for profit. Let's say you bought a ticket for Saturday but on two days into your flight, your house is obliterated in a tornado or flooding and you can't travel, you contact Alaska Airlines to change or refund, you can't change it and you can't be refunded either, your money is gone because they come up with jargons for their deceptive scheme to swindle you. This is thievery but in a capitalist world like the US, this is a good mechanism of harvesting profits (capitalist thieves call it smart business), which I think should be called legal defrauding.  

Lisa
 
02:47 pm
Hi this is Lisa in Seattle, How can I help you?
dav
 
02:48 pm
Hi Lisa, how are you?
i need to cancel my flight, i wasn't able to cancel it myself
i'd appreciate if you can help
Lisa
 
02:48 pm
What is the confirmation code? I can take a look.
dav
 
02:49 pm
here it is
LVHXBP
Lisa
 
02:54 pm
This Alaska flight is a saver fare ticket. This can only be canceled in the first 24 hours of purchase otherwise it is a use the ticket or forfeit the ticket amount. This will not be able to be cancelled if not flying then you will loose the value of this ticket.
dav
 
02:54 pm
that is a shame
i'm a student
how can that be possible
Lisa
 
02:56 pm
I am sorry this is our most restricted ticket. There is not a way to get the credit back. It will be flying or loose the ticket amount. In order to not have this again it will be choosing our main cabin fare ticket for some flexibility in your travel plans.
dav
 
03:00 pm
that is not right! that is literally theft. why do you use consumer's vulnerability to scam for profit?
Lisa
 
03:02 pm
When making the reservation the fare rules are no changes or cancelation. You are outside of that time. You agreed to these terms at time of check out. There are no change or cancelation can be made to this reservation.
dav
 
03:03 pm
i mean why do you create such vulnerability to your customer in the first place?
Lisa
 
03:06 pm
This is a restricted ticket. I am sorry this is not the answer you wanted to hear. At this time we will not be canceling the reservation due to the restrictions of your ticket. If there is nothing else travel related. Thanks for choosing Alaska. Have a great day.

Dec 5, 2021

Replacing the Taliban with the Taliban

What did the US do in Afghanistan in the past 20 years? It depends on who asks and who answers but as we all know that our understanding of the current situation is formed historically, meaning that we know what empires did and do. And when it comes to Afghanistan, the same form of thinking could be considered. A few days ago, I saw a post on social media, someone said something splendidly accurate. The post said that you should not feel miserable and depressed, it took 20 years for the US to deploy hundreds of thousands of troops, spend trillions of dollars, dragged in four US presidents to replace the Taliban with the Taliban. 

Ironically, this is, of course, an over-simplification of the whole issue but in a very ironic and bitter way, this is a very accurate illustration. In a sense the US eventually did nothing but bringing back the Taliban to power that they ousted 20 years ago. 

But wait, there is something deeper and bitter nuance in it and that has to do with Afghanistan and its people. It exposes a very dreadful reality and that is that Afghanistan cannot be changed, and perhaps, it applies to its people as well. It is sad but true to some degree, unlike other nations that upgrade, Afghanistan retrograde, its people (not everyone though but some) undo their own civilization and culture.

Dec 4, 2021

The rejection of humanitarian parole cases

I don't know how credible this news that the USCIS is about to deny most Afghan humanitarian paroles cases is but it sounds pretty outrageous if it is true. I heard from other sources that some people have already received rejection letters from the USCIS. The categorical denial comes after receiving thousands of application fees, each $575. Apparently, the USCIS have received more than 30,000 applications which amounts to $17,250,000 in application fees that is a lucrative scam by the Biden administration. 

Dec 1, 2021

Clash on the border of Afghanistan-Iran

There is some sporadic news coming out of western part of Afghanistan that the Taliban militants have clashed with the Iranian soldiers on the border of Nimroz province. It is unclear what has caused the confrontation but one thing is clear and must be understood by the Iranian government is that the Taliban will not be their friends--the thing that they hoped. It is known that Iran aided the Taliban in taking over districts and provinces across its eastern border, and even convinced government officials in Herat to give in to pressure mounted from the Taliban. No one expected the swift fall of Herat had it not been the help and pressure from Iran. 

Now this short skirmish is the beginning of a bitter and difficult future for Iran to deal with a terrorist group it helped to take over Afghanistan. The Taliban see Iran and its people as Rafidis, a derogatory term used by Sunni Wahhabi and Deobandi followers to delegitimate and dehumanize Shiite adherents as Muslims. Iran was not alone in helping the Taliban, Pakistan was another neighbor that provided significant support throughout the past two decades, which may experience the consequences of their actions since the Pakistan Taliban are getting motivated and bolder to fight the army.