Saturday, September 25

Taliban clean up their image: Kabul’s ‘new normal’



After the definitive exit of the United States, the Taliban have taken absolute control of Kabul. Warned of the problems derived from transmitting a reality that is too extreme, the Afghan fundamentalists now want to give a friendlier image, more appropriate to the standards of the rest of the world. At least, facing the gallery.

The few journalists who work for Western media can only do so at certain times of the day, always under the watchful eye of the Taliban. The images they capture seek to reflect that normalcy in Kabul is fully restored: people working in the streets, women running errands or shops recovering.


For example, classes are being given normally. There are pictures in which see boys and girls going back to school. They, yes, with their heads necessarily covered. Photos of the interior of the classrooms are also arriving, even of a teacher who continues to practice her profession. This ‘new normal’ that they want to transmit, is in line with that more talkative attitude that they have shown in recent weeks. The fact that the conquest was carried out with hardly any violent incidents reinforces this idea.

Although it remains to be seen what the future holds for the Muslim country. In the early stages of the crisis, China stated its intention to establish relations with the Taliban. From the West it is still not clear what the general trend of these relations will be. At first, Josep Borrel, the European Union’s foreign policy representative, said that the new Afghan government should be spoken to, as they had “won” the war. However, this attitude was later amended by the President of the Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen.

In fact, this Monday, the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, pointed out that, although Spain does not consider recognizing the regime imposed by force, it does contacts will be sought to continue proceeding with the evacuation of the collaborators who are still there. At first, in fact, the Taliban attitude was to facilitate the departure of all those who wanted to leave.


In any case, there are things that will remain unchanged. In another of the images sent by journalists on the ground, a woman can be seen walking down the street completely covered with a burqa. Something difficult to accept from a Western perspective, despite the fact that there is someone who wants to compare it.

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