Khamad Jan, age 22, remembers that, as a youngster, he was a good student who enjoyed studying. "Now, I can't seem to think," he said sadly, looking at the ground. There was a long pause. "War does this to your mind."
Afghanistan's youth are living their lives every day under great strain, never knowing if their country will one day be at peace again, but determined to find their own voice in amongst the rubble that surrounds them.
I recently assisted in a surgical procedure in Kabul on a young boy. The chief surgeon was an Afghan man. I didn't know how he would respond to a woman as our fierce Asian eyes met over surgical masks.
Many of the colonized people in the world share a belief: that when our colonizers leave, they intentionally leave behind a chaotic situation destined for more conflict, thereby ensuring post-colonial strife.