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Our Dreams of Peace: Envisioning an End to War in Afghanistan

Fahim’s friend Nasim Pakhtoon, 35, who runs a government television channel, had posted that when peace came he was going to open a restaurant in remote Nuristan Province, a place tucked into the mountains and so hard to reach that it was long described as the fabled Shangri-La.

Fatima’s friend Tahera Rezaee, 28, a documentary photographer, had it all planned, too.

“I’ll grab my bag, a few dresses and my camera,” she said. “I’ll take public transport, not a private car. I will hike in Panjshir, listen to music in Helmand, go to Kandahar to visit the Aino Mena new city — I heard it is like Dubai. I will photograph girls in Badakhshan and dance with Sikhs in Nangarhar.”

Many of our friends had simple dreams.

Rafiullah Stanikzai, 30, who works at the United States Institute of Peace, said he would get into a car and drive across the country in winter, stopping along the way where there is deep snow. “I’ll light a fire and sit around it with my friends during the night,” he said. “I could never do that now.”

Laila Noorani, 23, who works as a radio producer, just wants to go jogging — something she has only ever seen women do in movies.

Throughout the peace talks in Qatar, there was much more laughter in our newsroom than usual. Reports suggested more and more that a peace deal could actually happen, and it put us all in a heady mood.

We wondered whether the Taliban were having peace dreams of their own, so we asked some of them, too.

Source: NYT > World

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