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An obligation to write.

As writers with freedom of speech, we now have a special obligation to tell the tragic stories of the men, women, and children of Afghanistan.
An obligation to write.

There are times in life when even a writer can be lost for words, and today is one of those days, but I am forcing myself to find some.

My heart is heavy with regard to the situation in Afghanistan, and the fall of Kabul. As a result, even though this blog is only about the inner workings of writing, my feelings have overwhelmed me, and I feel obliged to express them.

A collective wound

What we are witnessing in Kabul today will go down in history, and just like you remember where you were on 9-11, you will remember where you were today. The complete meltdown of the western presence in Afghanistan is now part of a collective wound we all share for generations to come.

It's a tragedy to say the least, and as writers we must take our part of the responsibility and use it as an opportunity to learn. Few novelists or screenwriters could have written a better and more dramatic story than what we see unveiled in front of us on the international stage today.

Never forgotten

I believe the least we can do is absorb the emotions of this tragedy, and convert them to monuments of art. The learning points of a day such as this must never be forgotten. We have an obligation to keep the memory of a flawed political strategy and millions of courageous men, women, and children alive across time and space.

Only writers can do that. Let's tell this story throughout history so that the people we are leaving behind to face a horrible destiny are never forgotten.

Total tragedy

The tragedy as a genre is the ultimate way of telling a story, because it contains all emotions — even humour. It's also the most difficult to master, but with regard to the fall of Afghanistan, we are forced to master it.

We simply owe it to the people we promised freedom of speech only 20 years ago. They are now trapped in a system where they will not be able to tell their story for generations. Their destinies are sealed to be one of religious oppression and lack of fundamental human rights. They are now part of a doctrine that finds writing dangerous if it doesn't speak positively about the doctrine.

Start writing — now

It's a setback of immense human proportions that we have created. We, being the Western world. We did it, so we must carry the burden of it.

Writing about it is the best way. Exercising the right they have now lost to tell their stories is the only sensible way of healing this wound. There are many stories to tell about this tragedy, and I think we better get started — all of us.