For journalists in Kabul, the switch is also very quick. CNN journalist Clarissa Ward appeared on camera for the first time today wearing a black abaya (a type of dress worn over other clothing; editor) and a veil covering her entire head from her hair. Even without an explicit commitment, Taliban laws are already in effect on the streets, and while deciding, Ward was also asked to step aside: as a woman, she was very close to a group of men.
“This is the first day of reporting from what is now called the Islamic Emirate. You can see that a lot has changed, starting with my dress code,” Ward testified. During her city tour, she now encounters Taliban fighters everywhere. “Here’s a picture I honestly didn’t think I’d see: about 20 Taliban fighters right behind us on the grounds of the US Embassy.”
Some fighters carry American weapons. They assure reporters that they only want peace to be restored. “Everything is under control, everything will be fine. No one should worry,” it seemed.
“death to America”
But the hatred for America is still very strong. They chant “Death to America”, but at the same time they sound friendly. Ward said.
The Taliban did not declare that men should grow beards or that women should be veiled. However, many residents fear that it is only a matter of time before the Etiquette Squad becomes active. This is why they are already more careful as a precaution. Many women even decided to stay at home today.
‘We are tired of the constant war’
Ward’s presence immediately caused tension in the presidential palace, which is also occupied by Taliban fighters. “They just told me to step down because I’m a woman,” she said in dismay.
The people of Kabul can’t believe their city fell so quickly. What exactly their lives would look like under the Taliban is not yet clear. “We want peace, we are tired of this constant war,” one testified. “I can’t even predict what will happen in the next seconds, so I can’t say anything reasonable about the future.”
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