Against All Odds | Teen Ink

Against All Odds

May 21, 2019
By 21bwilson, York, Pennsylvania
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21bwilson, York, Pennsylvania
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Abdul was born and raised in Afghanistan in the early 2000’s, he did not know what it was like to live in a normal life because his hometown was constantly under attack. He lost his father when he was 10 in an explosion caused by a bomb and has been struggling to survive with just his mom and his sister. He does everything he can to find a way to way out of the country to escape the war but has never succeeded in doing so. His hometown is in ruins because it is constantly being bombarded and raided, each attack being more intense than the last killing more and more people. He is constantly clinging onto hope in the darkness of his everlasting fear of death and taking it day by day. This all changes when his hometown gets attacked by the Mujahideen and many people he was close to were killed and his former home was in ruins.

Sometimes I wonder what other kids go through each morning. They probably just get up and go through the same routine each day. The reason I think about all of this is because I live in the middle of a complete warzone and everyday is just another part in my struggle for survival. I get up everyday hoping that my house isn’t in ruins and I check to make sure that everyone is ok. However, that is just one of the cons of living in Kabul, or anywhere else in Afghanistan for that matter.

I always was afraid of the outside world, especially after the stories that my grandma told me about what goes on outside of the city and the many stories about children my age getting kidnapped by troops and being used as tools for them. I began to shudder just thinking about the thought of being abducted and never being able to see my family again. After seeing me stare off with the same blank expression, my mom decided to ask “What’s wrong?” I was thinking about everything that was wrong with where we are, but still I responded with the same “I’m fine.”

Later that day, I was startled by an extremely loud bang and then an explosion. I went outside to see what happened, but before I did a large portion of the house had collapsed and my sister got her leg caught in the rubble. Before I did anything else I rushed over and I started moving pieces of debris to try and free her from the pile. After freeing her I realized that my mother was missing and I started frantically searching the pile looking for her, no luck. It turns out though that she was trapped outside after it happened because she had gone to our neighbor’s house to talk. Relieved, I slumped down and sat on the floor trying comprehend what had just happened. I began to realize that we weren’t safe here because one of these days, the Mujahideen is going to actually get one of us killed in another one of their skirmishes.

Then, someone in the town started hollering something about a refugee camp that was taking people in and caring for them. I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to finally escape the danger that constantly put me and the town in peril. My family had devised a plan on where we would go and tried to make all of the safest decisions that we could to get there in mostly one piece. The camp was about 50 miles away meaning that it would probably take us about a day to get there meaning that we would have to pack some supplies for our long trek. We decided on a couple of sandwiches, some water, and a first-aid kit just in case something ends up going wrong.

Early the next day we left town with a couple other people and things were going good until we began to hear gunshots and shouting. It was the Mujahideen again! They began firing at us because they thought that we were trying to side with the current communist government by going to that camp. The reason for this being that the camp was made by the government and they didn’t want anyone going there. The group began to start running, people all around us getting shot. Horrified by this, my family and I decided it would be safest and hid, so we took cover behind some rocks in the woods to wait out the attack.

During our time hiding, I ended up falling asleep and by the time I woke up it was pitch black out. Scared, my family kept moving realizing that the black of the night would help us get through undetected but also make it harder us to see dangers like landmines. I have had a lot of bad memories with explosives which horrified me because of the fact that I lost my dad to a bomb a couple years ago.

While reflecting on all of this we saw some lights in the distance. It was the camp! However, as we approached it, we started hearing more gunshots. The camp was under attack by bandits! Since the guards were holding them off at the front, we decided to sneak around to the back. When we got there, there was one bandit there who picked me up and pointed a gun at my head. My heart was racing, I began to panic and I thought was this really it? Am I really about to die now even what I was this close? But as I was thinking, the man’s grip had loosened because he was killed by one of the guards on the watchtowers. I was frozen by the shock of what had just happened to realize that the attack was over.

When we got inside, there were tons of other families there that were just like us. Trying to escape the dangers of our home. It made me wonder, if the war will ever end at the rate it is going.

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