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Saturday, September 22nd, 2018

Feasts, Hugs, And Selfies: A Tantalizing Glimpse Of Possible Afghan Peace


Several thousand scruffy Taliban fighters streamed into the Afghan capital on motorcycles and in overcrowded cars, waving the militant group’s white flags. But they came not as combatants, but as civilians taking advantage of a cease-fire that saw them celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr alongside sworn enemies with feasts, hugs, and selfies.

It was a scene that was replicated across the country, where government forces have been trying to stave off Taliban militants ever since their hard-line Islamic regime was toppled by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

“It was the first peaceful Eid I celebrated,” said Mohammad Alam, a resident of the eastern province of Logar, capturing the newfound optimism over the possibility of a lasting truce. “We have hope. Peace is the only way.”

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.