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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Naqeeb Poya
9/11: GLOBAL VOICES
Naqeeb Poya
Name: Naqeeb Poya
Age: 23
Lives: Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
Works: English language assistant on Mazar TV
I was sitting behind the counter in my family's jewellery shop, when a friend of mine came in and told me about the planes hitting the Twin Towers.

At first I didn't know what to think as I hadn't even heard of the World Trade Centre before, and at that time we had no television.

I listened to the news on the radio. It was shocking that such a thing could have happened in a country like America.

I had friends in America that I made over the internet. When I heard about this tragedy I sent them my deepest condolences.

The world began to change from that point. We started hearing of the Americans coming to my country, though I didn't see any soldiers for over a week.

At first I felt this was an invasion, but later I came to realise that the Taleban, all those who were at the top of the regime, were not good people. They were part of al-Qaeda.

And now I can see dramatic changes in my life. We were not free, as we are now. We were not allowed to watch television, listen to music or grow long hair.

There is hope for Afghanistan. The country feels much more free
It was considered a sin to talk to a woman in our shop unless she was accompanied by a male family member. There were many rules like that.

I decided to learn English when the Taleban were in power so that I could leave Afghanistan and escape to a European country. But now I've changed my mind.

I am happy with my life now - we can use the internet freely, we can travel out of the country. And I have got a good job which means I can feed my family and have spare money for myself.

Of course I can't support everything that America has done. I thought there would be an end to the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Instead, the fighting, bombings and the death of innocent people is increasing day by day. It makes it hard to believe all the promises America made.

But there is hope for Afghanistan. The country is getting on its feet and it feels much more free.





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