The United States has been in Afghanistan for almost 17 years and yet most of its soldiers are unaware of the language, culture, tradition and many more related Afghan issues. Most of the US soldiers join the military because they are unable to find any other jobs since education in the US is extremely expensive they join the military, so they can use the veteran’s protection program to pay for their insurance and education etc. yet again there are many veterans who are homeless all-around US. We are talking about US military programs in Afghanistan because their credible source of information is the military that stays in their compounds scared to go out for operation. It seems as if the US is just there to work on their personal goals instead of cleaning up Afghanistan of terrorists. The US has the technology and resources to eliminate the whole terrorist operation in Afghanistan in just a few days but unfortunately, their agenda is something else.
Marvels new superheroine Dust is yet another example of the information the US has about Afghanistan. Dust is a fictional character that Marvel introduced in 2002. Even though the original name of the character “Sooraya Qadir” is an Afghan name yet everything else belongs to the middle east mainly the Arab society. The character speaks Arabic and wears middle eastern female clothes that is Abaya. The character even has the ability that is only middle eastern, her name is dust because she is the manipulator of sand and can bring sandstorm and any sand related powers. They gave her this power because the marvel community thinks that Afghanistan is a desert same as the middle east and they think that there are sandstorms in Afghanistan.
To marvel, the US community and the Afghans who live abroad, we Afghans living in Afghanistan would like to tell you that even though we appreciate introducing an Afghan female character to the Marvel team is something that all Afghans would be proud of but, yet Marvel failed to portray the true Afghan girls image in the Dust character. First of all, Afghans do not speak Arabic. Afghanistan has beautiful languages of itself. The two main languages in Afghanistan are Pashto and Dari, yet there are more beautiful languages, not just these and none of them are Arabic. Even though during the Taliban regime Afghans were forced to dress differently yet the true traditional female dressing of Afghanistan is not Abaya, it is the Afghani dress that we think is the most beautiful and colorful dressing line in the whole world. And finally, Afghanistan does not have desert, nor there are sandstorms, Afghanistan is rich in minerals, fruits, dry fruits, rugs, mountains, and its beautiful people with mesmerizing eyes. If Marvel would like to introduce a character, they could use any of these or just google or talk to the Afghan community or Afghans who live in Afghanistan, I am sure in this modern age of the internet it is not so hard to reach anyone in this world.
It is very unfortunate that the general public even mostly the new generation Afghan still thinks that Afghanistan is in the middle east, Afghans often hear questions if they speak Arabic when they’re traveling abroad. Not just this, most of Afghans themselves think that they’re in the middle east and because they’re born and raised abroad they spread their information in schools and colleges or to the community that they belong to one of the middle eastern countries. Even though this is not a big deal to belong to the middle east or not the problem is that Afghanistan as a country and its people are very different than the middle eastern people. We speak a different language, we have a different culture, we have our own traditions and dressing which has nothing to do with the middle eastern part of the world.
To conclude, this article is not written to discourage the use of Afghans for movies but to encourage the correct use of information around the world. Afghanistan has already suffered a lot for being called many things because of other people’s doings and is still suffering from being portrayed as a part of a community that they do not belong to. Afghans have had it enough, we are trying to build our country and our image in this world and would like the international community to check the credibility of the sources that they take information from and we are sad to tell you that the information that people take from media and their military personnel is most of the time incorrect. Because the information is new and there is no fact check or prior information, the information is accepted as credible. We encourage everyone in this world that if you would like to know anything about Afghans or Afghanistan, approach an Afghan, talk to them, we would love to share about ourselves, our community and Afghanistan to this world. We want everyone to know for who and what we really are, not how the media portrays us.