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The flight of the Afghans

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

What is happening to our world these days? Several parts of it are being ravaged by this new virus that our forefathers had never known. Others are being invaded by their neighbors, as what is happening between Afghanistan and the Taliban. Aren’t they infected by this pandemic that they have time to quarrel with each other? This is, indeed, a very strange world we are living in now. Despite a vicious pandemic that does not seem to have respect for any country, rich or poor, some still give priority to their desires to occupy and grab  power from others.

***

Did I hear it right? I was hardly listening to the TV when a report caught my attention. It said that a  House Panel, referring to Congress, of course, had “Ok’d the absolute divorce bill”. I must have missed reports on its deliberations so it was rather a shock to learn that such a law is now in the making and could be passed before we know it. How come that there hasn’t been much comments or arguments pro or con, if not from members of Congress who are Catholics, but from the Church itself? Had I been remiss in my coverage, missing such an important development?

***

I am sure some of my friends will laugh and tense me for being so concerned with such a development when it is not in anyway my concern. But what about family life in our country, because, with the availability of absolute  divorce, parents may split and, unless both parties are loving and concerned parents, the victims will be the children from the broken wedlock. It is, of course a reality that some couples find out too late that they are really not meant for each other. In other words, they are incompatible, but, alas, for their offspring, the wedded ones break up after the stardust has been brushed off from their eyes!

***

But I think we should also be concerned about what is happening in Afghanistan, after the marauding Taliban crushed into their territory, causing  its citizens to flee from their homes and the country of their birth. I wonder, though, how come such countries can still find time to get into warfare. Aren’t they affected by what has already been tagged as a “pandemic”? Not only one or two, or even a dozen countries are suffering from it, and yet marauders like the Taliban are heartless enough to attack their neighbor!

***

I am sure I was not the only one who had seen on TV how the Afghans, in their great fear of being under Taliban control, have been clambering up the stairs of an airplane that was evacuating  those anxious to get away from their own country, in fear of what they may go through under Taliban control. Women and young girls, especially, are being given priority on the flights, because of the reputation of the Taliban with regards to females. How could human beings be so beastly? Do the Talibans not believe in any religion that could have taught them about sin and the penalties awaiting sinners?

***

The Taliban leaders reportedly assured the Afghans that they will respect their rights, but obviously, nobody believes them. Which was why, when airplanes were made available for those who wanted to escape, people rushed into them, without regard for reservations or tickets, and it was even noted that one of the planes had to carry more than 800 people! But the Lord must have been protecting them, because, although there was no report on where they landed, no bad news about accidents had also been published.

***

But who can blame those people  for risking their lives to get away? Since the Taliban entry, reports said more than 9,000 Afghans were executed daily on some excuse, among which could be their resistance to the new order, or for being caught while trying to flee. Such happenings do not seem possible in this day and age, although something like it was also experienced by some countries, including ours, during the Japanese invasion and occupation. Most people from towns and cities fled to the barrios or sitios, while the ones who stayed in the towns and cities were cursed and considered disloyal to their country.

***

I was puzzled by the report that Bacolod will implement a “graveyard” vax  rollout, and what came to my mind was that vaccinations would take place in graveyards, or cemeteries.  How silly of me! In the journalism lingo, “graveyard” is also a very commonly used word, but it does not refer to any deaths, but to the time when a reporter or editor is assigned to the late night shift. That means the reporter has to be on hand all night to be ready when there is a news break-out. In journalism, therefore, it is  the equivalent of the night shift for doctors and nurses. I guess editors adopted it because the night shift is when deadly events take places, and the victims end up  in graveyards.*

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