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Word Count: 5,144
My Forbidden Face by Latifa27 September 1996 900 am Someone knocks violently at the front door The entire family jumps Weve been in a nervous state since dawn My father walks hastily out of the room My anxious mother follows him with her eyes Her features are drawn in fatigue She hasnt slept all night No one has slept The rocket fire around the city went on until two in the morning My sister Soraya and I whispered in the dark We didnt stop even once it had grown quiet There was no real rest to be found anywhere Youd think that in Kabul wed have grown used to being rocket targets Im sixteen and Im convinced Ive always heard them The citys been encircled for so very long Its been attacked and bombarded and attacked again Murderous gangs have set us on fire and smoked us out sometimes sent us running down to the distant cellar for shelter One more night of upheaval should be just part of the routine But today feels different Father comes back into the kitchen Right behind him is our young cousin Farad Hes breathless and a ghastly colour and looks as if hes shivering on the inside His whole face is fear He has trouble speaking the words fall all over each other interspersed with strange gaspsI came to get your news Is everything OK You didnt see anything You dont know anything But theyre here Yes theyve taken Kabul The Taliban are in Kabul Didnt they bang on your door Didnt they demand all your armsNo No one came my father mutters But we saw the white flag blowing above the mosque Weve been fearing the worst Daoud saw it this morningThis morning at about five when he went down as usual to fetch water from the buildings communal tap my young brother Daoud rushed back up quickly the bucket in his hand still empty I saw
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