United States and Afghanistan OUR LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Table of Contents

Page 1 ................................. Introduction

Page 2 ................................. Religious Poetry By Mariah Luring

Page 3 .................................. War Torn by Hannah Potts

Page 4 .................................. The Misconception by Zachary Harashack

Page 5 ..................................CTV MORNING NEWS by Brian Ponce

Page 6 .................................. Bibliography

Introduction

Shards of metal fly through the air and strike innocent civilians in its path. Bombs and blasts are a constant sound echoing in the minds of young children and frightened mothers. All of this violence and unrest is supposed to be something that the Afghan civilians welcome with open arms. But is the United States fighting with the Taliban and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan helping this country or destroying its people? In Born under a Million Shadows, Fawad and his family display peace with foreigners, showing our point that there's not a hatred in Afghan hearts. The point of our magazine is to show the sides and how they don't hate us and show what's made us believe that and how we've tried to change that. When Osama Bin Laden claimed responsibility for the travesty on 9-11, the United States made a focused effort to remove his terrorist group from Afghanistan. This started the invasion of this country by the United States. As the U.S. tried to find the terrorists, air strikes and explosions were common in the Afghanistan cities and countryside. Unfortunately, not only terrorists were killed, but many innocent Afghanistan civilians lost their lives by being in the way. On September 11, 2001 a Muslim group attacked America and since then we have taken care of that threat and now The United States Government has made attempts to find peace with the Afghan Government with multiple treaties signed so another attack doesn't happen.

In our magazine, we have a variety of ways to depict that they either have hatred for us, or not every single Afghan hates us as most of us have come to believe. A poem describing their peaceful religion; A newscast discrimination government efforts to find peace between our two nations; A hero story of past events; And an artistic product demonstrates emotions of the Afghan people who we have been falsely taught to hate us.

Religious Poetry

Mariah Luring

More Than The Same

You pray to your God

And I'll pray to mine

We may be different

But we are part of the same humankind

My dark skin

And your white face

We may look different

But we are part of the same human race

I am a Muslim

Trapped in a world of pain and war

And you are an American

Free, and always wanting more

We may be different

But we are also the same

We both believe in a god

Only a shame they have different names

Dear Father

I guess I will never understand

Why you sold me to this old man

Who will never love me like I thought I loved you

I am only a girl who doesn't have a clue

Why marriage has to be like this

And why I can not have freedom and bliss

The freedom to experience love on my own

I want to feel the love I will never know

So, father, I guess I will never understand

Why you sold me to this man I now call my husband

I Pray

I pray to Allah

I pray that he will save me from a life of sins

I pray that he will protect me from this life full of fighting

I pray to Allah

I pray that he will turn my sadness into beauty

I pray that he will turn war into peace

I pray to Allah

I pray to him every night and every morning

On my hands and knees

I pray to my God Allah

If Only You Could See

I can feel your eyes staring at me

I can feel your hate stabbing me like a sharp knife

I can see people's frightened faces

But you don't truly know my life

You only see the outside

My burqa covering the color of my skin

You run from me in fear

That I only commit sin

But you don't really know

What is on the inside of me

I am just a Muslim

And nothing like what you see on TV

So stop assuming

That you know me

Because I did not choose this life

I only wish you could see

Taliban and Al Qaeda have caused past problems

War Torn

Hannah Potts

The sound of exploding bombs surround my every move. I never go a day without wondering if it will be my last. My name is Alex and I am a 13 year old boy who lives in Afghanistan. Life is tough here in Afghanistan. War happens every day and we live in poverty. My life is bad. Well, at least that’s what I thought until one day everything changed dramatically.

It was June 23rd of 2005 when I got a mysterious handwritten letter given to me by a tall man in a suit. He was really scary looking, and I didn't know what to think about it. The note looked special. It had a huge gold sticker on the front and my name was written in cursive. Could this be an escape? Could it be the start of a wonderful life? I ran home to open the letter with my mom. My mom worked hard for me. We were all each other had. My dad died when I was a young boy. He was shot by the Taliban, a terrible terrorist organization that hides in our country. He was a great soldier and a very hardworking man, and it was a shame that he died. My mother has been depressed for a long time.

The excitement about the letter turned to fear as I read what was being requested of me. The troops that were in our country from the United States wanted me to help them find the terrorists. I was asked to find the local group, become one of them, and alert the U.S. troops of their activities. As a result of my help, the U.S. government would supply my family with a new home and plenty of food and supplies. It was a dangerous offer, but one that I could not refuse.

Mother did not want me to do this assignment, even though it would be advantageous for our family. She imagined me ending up like my father, dead in a ditch as a result of the terrible people in the Taliban. I knew that her fears were real, but I had to take the chance.

When I accepted the offer, I was taken to a private room to be told what to do. I was to meet a man in the dark alley at 11:15 pm. He would take me to a terroristic meeting where I would become part of the group. I had to act like I was truly one of the terrorists, or I would be putting myself, and my family in danger.

As I was led to the private meeting, a boy, about the same age as me, took me by the arm and led me to a dark room. His name was Alpha, and he was the son of one of the leaders of the Taliban group. He told me that I needed to be quiet and listen carefully. Soon, we would be headed to the encampment where we would get our mission. Alpha seemed just like me, but I knew that he had to be a terrible person to be part of this group.

At the encampment, our first mission was to go steal food and gun supplies from a neighborhood. I was kind of scared to be a part of this. I didn’t want them to find out I wasn’t one of them, so I had to act the part. We drove in a huge caravan to the local city that bordered my town. As we pulled into the one area, we were told that the target house was just ahead. One by one we exited the truck and pushed toward the house. We busted down the door, tied up the young girls that were at the table and took everything they had. The father started to come out of the bedroom to confront us, and he was immediately shot in the head. I heard the young girls scream at the top of their lungs, and I knew that this spy mission was going to be something that would haunt me forever.

We arrived back at the encampment with the food and the guns we needed, but I knew that something was wrong. Alpha led me to his private room and he broke down in tears. He told me how much he hated being a part of such terrible missions. I thought that he was used to stealing and killings, but it seemed like he had enough. Even though he hated his life, he knew that he could never leave because of his dad. He was born into this, and he could never get out. I already was feeling closer to Alpha. I wanted to tell him so badly that I didn't like it either. I wanted to tell him everything, but of course I couldn't. He was probably thinking how horrible of a person I was to join this terrorist group willingly.

After that terrible mission, it was now time to report back to the U.S troops. I met with them and explained everything I did with the Taliban and how badly I felt about it. I told them that the Taliban believed I was all in it. That's just what they wanted to hear. They told me that they wanted me to find out when the next mission was so that they can come and sneak attack them. All though I knew that this was the perfect idea, I began to worry about Alpha. I couldn't let him get hurt. Especially because if he got hurt, it would be all my fault. I just had to remember that this was for my mom, and I had to do what the U.S troops told me to do.

The mission was clear. The Taliban was planning on going back to the same city and hitting more homes for food and weapons. Saturday was the day that it would happen. Alpha told me all about it, and I had chills just thinking about what could happen. I wanted the U.S troops to stop the Taliban, but I just wanted Alpha to stay out of it. As soon as Alpha told me this mission and all of the details, I reported it back to the U.S soldiers right away. I was not sure what exactly they were going to do to stop the Taliban, but I could only imagine the worst coming out of this. I should have never agreed to this I felt like such a bad person. Even worst, I felt like such a terrible friend. Once Alpha finds out what I have been up to, he will never still want to be my friend.

Later that night, after we had a meeting with the Taliban to plan out the mission, I invited Alpha to my room to hang out. He wanted to talk about the mission a lot, and I didn't want to think about it, so I kept trying to change the subject. I asked him if he wanted to play some cards. I always kept a deck of cards with me just in case I get bored and want to do something. I showed him a couple tricks I had up my sleeve with the cards. He was very surprised. We laughed and laughed until the sun came up the next day. I now considered Alpha one of my very close friends. I also knew that he worshiped our friendship. He even told me that I was the first real friend he has ever had. I assumed that he could never find somebody to relate to since he was apart of such a terrible terrorists group. I was so excited that he felt this close to me and I felt special to be his first real friend.

The next morning, Alpha and I took a walk. We were both so tired from being up so late, so we had to relax our muscles. We talked about the big day ahead of us. We were both feeling uneasy about this mission. We had to report to meet with the group at 5:00 and no later. On my first day, they made it pretty clear that you could never be even a second late. They said that if anybody was ever late, they would kill us. Something to do with it being suspicious, but I wasn't quite sure. I just knew that I could not be late.

At 4:55 Alpha and I arrived at the meeting. At the meeting they talked about the same thing. They wanted to break into this certain house and steal everything they had. We had to tie the people that were inside up and kill everyone who tried to go against us. We loaded up all of our weapons in the truck that we were driving in to get to this neighborhood. The neighborhood was about an hour long drive. This was a little bit longer than usual, but i guess they wanted the destination to be far away just in case something would happen. This way, nobody could find us. We all hopped in the truck and began our drive to our destination. I knew that The U.S soldiers were already there hiding in each house planning their attack. We had a long drive, so we were given a big lecture. We couldn't talk or we would get whipped. I learned that the hard way. I was so ready to get out of this torturous place. I couldn't take it any longer. The lecture lasted the whole drive. I had such a huge headache.

As we were pulling up to the neighborhood, I gave Alpha a huge hug. I didn't know how this whole thing was going to turn out. He was a little bit confused, but it was worth it. I cherished our friendship, and I was going to do everything in my power to make sure nothing bad happened to him. We all grabbed our weapons and jumped out of the truck one by one. The house was right in front of us. We barged in only to see the U.S soldiers standing right in front of us. And before I knew it, they were shooting everybody around me. I turned to see where Alpha was. He was nowhere to be seen. I screamed and ran around the house searching and searching for him. I finally saw him hiding in a corner of the house. I pulled him up and told him to come with me. “What are you doing!” he yelled. Before I could even say another word, The U.S was standing right infront of him with their guns pointing straight at him. I couldn't find words to say. I was in shock and speechless. BAM. was the sound of the gun when it killed my best friend Alpha. NO! I screamed. And just like that, Alpha’s life slipped right out of my hands.

The Misconception

Zachary Harashack

I drew this because just because someone is Muslim doesn't mean that they are extremists or terrorists, this goes along with the the single story that “All Afghans Hate Americans” which isn't true because we have soldiers over there, that if we didn't have a semi good relationship with them wouldn't be there. In the Drawing there is a man with a turban on to represent Muslims, an equal sign with a dash through it which represents one thing not being equal to another, and on the far right there is a gun, knife, and grenade to represent violence and extremism. This Drawing is basically a big math metaphor saying that Muslims do not equal extremism. Most Terrorist and extremist usually target bigger countries with higher standing or their enemies because they want to be recognized, so Americans are targeted a lot because we have soldiers in Afghanistan and its neighboring countries fighting Isis and before it was the Taliban so for Terrorist it is an easy target. They also try bringing the fight to us by making people here bomb us, so when we see that a Muslim person attacked us we start making a single story that all Muslims are terrorists that hate us because we only hear about those few Muslims. If we were to visit Afghanistan you would realize that most Afghans are just trying to survive and they don't have time to hate us and attack us because they need to work so they can provide for their families. So not all Afghans hate us but the ones that do are the few that are in Terror groups or are extremists that are being attacked by American soldiers and that's why they don't like us.

CTV Morning News

Brian Ponce

Born Under A Million Shadows

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