Sayed Taher Mojab
Following the recent political upheavals in Afghanistan and the collapse of the republic, thousands lost their jobs. Among them are people like Mustafa Jafari, who studied criminal law and prosecution, was a journalist and a photographer, but now has turned to a corn seller to make ends meet.
DID Press Agency has always tried to reflect the social, political, and cultural facts of the country to help obviate the problems. On this mission, our correspondent Sayed Murtaza Mahmodi interviewed Mustafa Jafari to ask about his problems. A journalist who now suffers psychological complications due to unemployment.
Mustafa Jafari explains his living conditions and that how he turned into a corn seller on the streets of capital Kabul.
Jafari: I am unemployed since the fall of the previous government. There is no money, media activities stopped and televisions went bankrupt. On the one hand, I have economic problems. On the other hand, I am suffering from psychological problems. I went around a lot, called different media outlets to find a job, urging them to introduce me somewhere else but there was no way for me to earn a living.
DID: Why did you leave the media where you worked?
Jafari: The reason is clear. The media outlets collapsed for me and you. All media owners were members of a political party. All of them collapsed and fled the country, those left have not paid their personnel for 5-6 months. The main reason was the fall of the previous government.
DID: Did you quit your job or was fired by the media?
Jafari: There was no salary. I commuted to work every day and had to pay the fare from my pocket. So, I had to stay home but now suffering psychological problems as it is getting worse day by day. I faced economic problems, searched everywhere to sell socks but could not find a place. So, I turned to a corn seller on the streets.
DID: Did you try to leave the country or apply for asylum?
Jafari: I had applied as a refugee but did not receive a promising answer.
DID: Why do you want to become a refugee?
Jafari: One of the reasons I want to be a refugee is that this country neither has security nor stability. The government may collapse overnight like the previous government. I try my best to abandon this country because there is no hope. Today or tomorrow, something will happen again in this country, and I may regret why I did not flee the country earlier. Unfortunately, I still could not leave it.
DID: When Kabul fell to the Taliban, some journalists criticized that unknown people abandoned the country in their name. What is your opinion?
Jafari: I do not know whether anyone has left the country in my name or not. But most of our colleagues have faced such problems. Some journalists went to the airport but were said that someone else has recently left the country in their name. There are widespread frauds and corruption. Many photographers fabricated documents for some money.
DID: what do you expect from international organizations and institutions supporting journalists?
Jafari: My message to the foreign institutions supporting journalists is that they should identify real journalists from fake ones. Now, everyone – from shopkeepers to taxi drivers – has fabricated documents disguising as journalists. Some journalists worked hard for years and now are unemployed but some people have left the country, using fake documents.
DID: Could you explain a little about selling corns?
Jafari: Selling corns was not an easy job for me. I faced many problems on the streets and how to prepare the corns.
DID: Thank you for your time!
Jafari: Thank you!
Mustafa Jafari is not the only media worker who has lost his job after the recent political upheavals and has now turned to a corn seller. Hundreds of young people and breadwinners are also unemployed and struggling with economic hardships.
News Id: E17821