Code 59695
PublishDate: Sunday, April 21, 2013 11:43

Young Afghans want to rebuild country

The young generation’s experience of war, and of exile in some cases, had shaped their desire to create a better Afghanistan.

While others make plans to flee, a new generation of educated young Afghans who have tasted new freedoms in post-Taliban times are determined to stay and rebuild their war-ravaged nation.
 
With the vast majority of foreign troops withdrawing by the end of next year, many predict a resurgence of the hardline Islamists or a return to the civil war of the 1990s.
 
But a host of young professionals — including entrepreneurs, journalists, activists and artists — say they plan to stay to build a better future for a country that has suffered more than three decades of war.
 
More globally connected than any generation before them, more aware of the outside world and more urban, this new young elite will be the key driver of change in a land where half the population is under 18, said analyst Omar Sharifi. 

“I have a passion for Afghanistan. I love it and I have responsibilities to it,” said businessman Jamshid Ibrahimi, 29, who spoke on the roof of one of 11 buildings constructed by one of his three companies. 

Ibrahimi has already achieved his main goal. After starting out with $3,000 in his pocket in 2003, he has taken advantage of the billions of dollars that flowed into Afghanistan and become a rich man. 

But he wants more. “I was not only thinking about becoming rich and making money, but also about how I can play my part in rebuilding my country,” he said. 

“When I’m building my flats, it’s changing the view in Kabul and I employ people, I create jobs.”
Alka Sadat, a documentary-maker who has won awards overseas, hopes to improve her country by forcing it to confront the problems suffered by everyday Afghans — including suicide attacks and the hardship women face. 

She said her work often moves her to tears but she perseveres.
“I chose this job. I choose to see these problems. It’s my choice. I want to speak about these problems. I want to make films about this,” she said. 

In March, the 25-year-old organised an international film festival focusing on women in the western province of Herat, the first event of its kind in the country.
 
Analyst Sharifi said the young generation’s experience of war, and of exile in some cases, had shaped their desire to create a better Afghanistan.(Peninsula)

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