The Hopes and Fears of Afghanistan’s Generation Z

As the Donald Trump administration signals the possibility of cutting the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan after more than 17 years of conflict, Mohammad Ismail, a photographer with Reuters, spent time visiting with and photographing some of the young adults living in the city of Kabul. This generation is war-weary and ready for peace, but they are now contemplating an uncertain future as talks take place that might allow the Taliban to regain some level of power. Ismail: “For young people who were babies when the Taliban were driven from power by a U.S.-led campaign in 2001, the prospect of peace with the hard-line Islamists brings a daunting mix of hope and fear. For villagers in rural Afghanistan, where traditional ways have always counted for more than central government law, life may not change much. But for the young of Kabul and other cities, there is much to lose, in particular the freedoms restored after the Taliban were ousted—from playing music, to modeling and adopting trendy haircuts—which they’ve grown up with.”

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