In the summer of 2015, a few days before May Term classes ended, I decided it was time to visit my home country. Born and raised in Afghanistan, it had been four years since I’d last visited my hometown of Kabul.
Although I hadn’t anticipated the trip, it felt as though I’d been waiting for that moment to go back to my birthplace.
However, after the election results on Nov. 8, I might not have to wait too long to return to Afghanistan permanently. As promised during the election, chances are that immigrant students, Muslims, Mexicans and other ethnic groups may be sent back to where we initially came from.
Or maybe not. Perhaps all immigrants––Afghans, Mexicans and others––may end up staying. Who knows? Some of us most likely have to re-live the treacherous condemnation that occurred after 9/11––the “terrorist” label on our foreheads. If you are an immigrant who came to the U.S. and ended up staying or are an American-born Muslim, brace yourself. The next four years have a lot of expected and unexpected surprises waiting for you.
Until then, take a look at the photographs I snapped during my visit to Afghanistan this past summer. These are from the day-to-day lives of working Afghans in the busy city of Kabul. The photographs display Afghan people trying to live their lives and make ends meet through hard work. Common people simply trying to get by. None of the stereotypes Trump’s campaign spread about Muslims fit into how the people in these photographs look.
In different cultures, people dress up and present themselves differently from how Americans or people from other cultures would, but don’t let the stereotypes you’ve been hearing through the past year or more shape a bigoted view of these people.
Throw away the stereotypes, even just the tiny ones, while you’re at it.