Zahed Missed His Garden All These Years

May 1, 2012   //   by Hameed   //   culture, Human Rights, Peace, Poverty  //  1 Comment

Zahed is a forty some­thing years old Afghan-Ger­man who lives in Ger­many with his fam­i­ly. He’s lived there for over two decades now. About two and a half weeks ago, he came back to Afghanistan to vis­it his home­town in Surkhrod area of Nan­garhar Province. He missed his rel­a­tives and friends and his gar­den. He had a beau­ti­ful gar­den near his Qal­la or vil­lage house where he used to sleep under the shade of its trees in some peace and qui­et back in the day. He took very good care of the trees and plants in his gar­den and he enjoyed check­ing on the trees in the gar­den almost everyday.

Sec­ond to his rel­a­tives and friends Zahed, of course missed his pre­cious gar­den. He went to vis­it the gar­den and he savored every moment of it. On his third day in Surkhrod he want to take a nap under the cool shade in his gar­den and enjoy the after­noon breeze. He arranged his lit­tle bed in the gar­den solo. Lying on his bed he enjoyed look­ing at these now-tall trees he called it very joy­ful moments of his life, says his cousin Rahim. As he was doz­ing off the moment was inter­rupt­ed by a motor­cy­cle that parked near him. Two guys approached him and told him that the dis­trict gov­er­nor want­ed to see him and make sure that there are no secu­ri­ty threats for him while he is in town. The bik­ers did not let him tell his fam­i­ly where he was off to. He rode on the motor­bike with the two strangers who claimed to be secret police officers.

After rid­ing for a few miles on the motor­bike, one of the kid­nap­pers took out a cloth and blind­foled his eyes. Zahed does­n’t reme­ber any­thing after that. When he opened his eyes he was in a dark room with an chain in his ankle. The kid­nap­pers con­tact­ed his fam­i­ly here in Jalal­abad and asked for $1 mil­lion ran­som. After a luke­warm response from them, they con­tact­ed the vic­tim’s fam­i­ly in Ger­many to send them $1 mil­lion for his release.
Zahed’s fam­i­ly in Ger­many said they had­n’t saved that much in their entire life Ger­many. After a lot of nego­ti­a­tions, they set­tled for $50000 (fifty thou­sand USD) for his release. 

It’s not clear how they hand­ed over the $50K to the kid­nap­pers but they did. About a week ago the kid­nap­pers brought him (still blind­fold­ed) near Nazanin Jabarkhel High School in Surkhrod at around eight o’clock in the evening and let him go. “You can’t open your eyes until you can no longer hear the sound of our motor­bike. We’re watch­ing you!” Said the per­pe­tra­tors to Zahed. “The last motor­bike ride from a mud house where I was held for one week and the school where I was droped off that evening was five min­utes ride,” he said.
He was locked in a dark pit toi­let for one week where all he saw was one lit­tle child who brought him food every­day — the only per­son he could rec­og­nize he ever meets him again.

Zahed went back to Ger­many and I doubt that he’ll ever miss his gar­den or home­town again.