Virginia M. Moncrieff Headshot

Death in Kabul

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I will remember him, as we drove through the streets of Kabul, laughing and arguing with our friend Walid over whose baby daughter is the most beautiful and talented and whose girl will grow up to be the most successful and intelligent.

That was Abid, who was all that was good about the future of Afghanistan. He believed his baby daughter should grow up to be free, proud, and equal. He wanted what was best for his wife who he loved dearly, his family and his country.

But Abid was the victim of the cheating lawlessness in Afghanistan. He was trying to sell his car and his mechanic wanted to re-negotiate the price. Abid demurred and it got tense. Abid left home one morning and later, his car was found abandoned. Abid's identification and wallet was inside. But no Abid.

For twenty days, his family and friends tried to get the police interested in the fate of Abid. Needless to say, they weren't. There are big problems in Afghanistan, and one of the biggest is the breathtaking corruption that riddles the police force, which renders it almost inoperable.

Abid's body was found, beaten beyond what any human should endure, at Bagram.

Whoever killed Abid (and many suspect that they know who did it) will never be questioned, charged or jailed for the crime. It's too hard for ordinary people to pursue justice and too easy for the police to ignore it.

It leaves his friends with extraordinary grief. At knowing they have lost someone who worked so hard in his short life to be a friend to all. It leaves them anguished because the police did nothing and will do nothing. It leaves them guilt ridden because they could not go look for Abid - even though they suspected what had happened - because to do so would put themselves and their families in danger.

And it leaves them with a terrible feeling of doom about their country. That when a star like Abid shines, in Afghanistan it stands for nothing.

As my friend Walid said, "I wish I hadn't known him, because then I wouldn't miss him."

Ahmad Abid Akmal April 13, 1982 - August 13, 2008