纽约时报双语:告别曾经的喀布尔,告别一个希望的时代

告别曾经的喀布尔,告别一个希望的时代
A Journey Through Kabul on the Day of the Fall
MUJIB MASHAL
2021年8月30日
纽约时报双语:告别曾经的喀布尔,告别一个希望的时代

KABUL, Afghanistan — In the hours before the Taliban walked into Kabul, and the two-decade quest to build a democratic Afghanistan tumbled into fear and uncertainty, I left my parents’ home to take a bus around the city. This was not a reporting outing. It was personal.

阿富汗喀布尔——在塔利班进入喀布尔、让20年来建设民主阿富汗的征途陷入恐惧和不安之前的几个小时,我走出父母家门,乘公交在这座城市兜圈。这不是外出报道。这是我的个人探索。

I had woken up that morning, Aug. 15, with a feeling that the window on Kabul as my generation knew it was closing. City after city had fallen to the Taliban, at such dizzying speed that my colleagues reporting on the war could not keep up. As the map changed, the possibilities for the capital were down to two: Kabul would get turned into rubble again in a stubborn quest to save those in power, or Kabul would fall to extremists who, when last in power, had ruled with oppression and banished some of the most basic liberties.

8月15日早上,我一觉醒来,感觉我这代人所熟知的喀布尔就要看不见了。塔利班占领了一座又一座城市,速度之快让我那些报道这场战争的同事都跟不上了。随着战局变化,首都的结局只有两种可能:在挽救当权者的顽抗中再次沦为一片废墟;或是落入极端分子之手,他们上次掌权时曾实行压迫统治,剥夺了人民一些最基本的自由。

I was a boy when the Taliban were toppled in 2001, growing up here as new life was injected into the ruins of a capital that had been deeply scarred by civil war. For years, the world felt like it was opening up to many of us, though on the back of an increasingly bloody war and a worried sense that corruption and mismanagement were sliding toward something ominous.

塔利班政权在2001年被推翻时,我还是个孩子。在我成长的过程中,饱受内战创伤的首都废墟也被注入了新生。多年来,全世界都觉得它似乎向我们许多人敞开了大门,尽管背后还有一场日益血腥的战争,以及对政府腐败失调会让一切朝着不祥之处滑落的担忧。

Now, on the eve of another power change in Kabul, I was back in the city again, taking a break from my post in The New York Times’s New Delhi bureau to visit family and colleagues. And I knew — everyone here knew — that an era of hope, however uneven and misplaced, was about to end.

如今,在喀布尔另一次权力更迭前夕,我暂别自己在《纽约时报》新德里分社的职务,再次回到了这座城市,探望家人与同事。我知道——这里的每个人也都清楚——希望的时代即将结束,不管那希望有多少参差和错付。

In the days to come, the world would fix its eyes on the latest catastrophe in this small nation, after barely noticing years of gruesome daily bloodletting. Cameras would zoom in on the stream of humanity descending on Kabul’s airport in hopes of an evacuation flight — to anywhere; on the blood of the dead mixing with sewage outside the airport where they’d waited, documents in hand, for rescue before terrorist bombs took as many as 170 of their lives.

在未来的日子里,世界都将把目光聚焦在这个小国最近发生的灾难上,此前却对它每天都在上演的残酷杀戮几乎视而不见。镜头将对准聚集在喀布尔机场里期待着撤离飞机(不论前往何处)的人群;对准机场外围的血污,人们在那里拿着文件等待救援,直到恐怖分子的炸弹夺走了多达170条生命。

Those who found a seat on a flight would suddenly become exiles in lands far away. Those who stayed, exiles on our own streets.

那些在飞机上找到座位的人突然变成了远方的流亡者。而留下来的人,则流亡在我们自己的街头。

But before all of that, I wanted to see our city one last time — the way it had been.

但在这一切发生前,我想最后一次看看我们的城市——看看它曾经的样子。

At the main roundabout close to our home, next to the neon-lit corner joint that churns handmade ice cream in the summer and sells fried fish in the winter, a wedding car was being adorned with flowers. War or peace, marriages go on.

在距我们家不远的一处主要环岛路口,有一家霓虹闪烁的街角小店,夏天制作手工冰淇淋,冬天卖炸鱼;在店门旁边,有人正在一辆婚车上装饰鲜花。不管是战争还是和平,婚姻都在继续。

On a narrow stretch of sidewalk behind tall blast walls, officers at the police precinct opened shop for what would be their last day, one of them placing the visitors’ ledger next to a helmet on the table. On this side of the wall, a municipal worker in an orange jumpsuit talked to the plastic flowers on the headlight of his bike-trolley, in which he collected garbage. He fixed the flowers, and kept talking to them.

在高耸的防爆墙后面的一条狭窄人行道上,社区分局的警官们正在进行最后一天的值守,其中一人将访客簿放在了桌上的一个头盔旁。墙的这一边,一位穿着橙色连体服的市政工人对着他那辆收集垃圾的脚踏车前灯上的塑料花自言自语。他将花固定好,一直对它们说话。

At the money exchange booth, transactions were scarce but inquiries plenty: What is the dollar exchange rate this morning? The man parroted the same answer — the currency had depreciated by more than 10 percent in one day.

在货币兑换点,交易很少但询问很多:今早的美元兑换率是多少?那人鹦鹉学舌般重复着同一个答案——货币在一天内贬值了超过10%。

I found a window seat in the back of a bus headed downtown, passengers in front of me and the uncertainty of the city around us. Some held documents, others scrolled on their phones. An eighth grader clung to his geography book — it was the last of his summer exams.

我在一辆开往市中心的公交上找了一个靠窗的座位,前面有别的乘客,整座城市的不安包围了我们。有人拿着文件,有人划着手机。一位八年级学生紧紧抓着他的地理课本——那是他暑期测验的最后一门课。

In the second to last row of seats, a middle-aged man fidgeted with his old Nokia phone and constantly made calls. Refugees from other provinces, fleeing the last stretch of intense fighting, were still streaming into Kabul, and he was calling friends and relatives offering to host them.

在倒数第二排的座位上,一位中年男子摆弄着他的老款诺基亚手机,不停地打电话。逃离其他省份最后一段激烈战斗的难民仍在涌入喀布尔,他在给亲友打电话,表示愿意接待他们。

“The two rooms upstairs are still empty,” he told one person, insisting the family stay with him, as two other friends already had. “Of course, of course — for you a thousand times, anything you need.”

“楼上两个房间还是空的,”他对一人说,坚持让他带家人一起住,就跟另外两位朋友一样。“当然,当然——只要你需要,为你做什么都行。”

Everyone on the bus seemed tense, and it didn’t take much for things to boil over: It was one young man in the back row, briefly lowering his surgical mask (lest we forget that Covid was still stalking us) to put a pinch of tobacco into his cheek.

公交上的每个人似乎都很紧张,没过多久,情况就失控了:后排的一个年轻人暂时拉下了他的外科口罩(唯恐我们忘记了新冠仍在尾随),往嘴里塞了一撮烟草。

The man on the phone looked at him and couldn’t help himself. “Is that even good for your health?” he said, gesturing at the tobacco.

打电话的人看着他,忍不住说了两句。“这对你的健康有好处吗?”他指着烟草说。

The young man stared at him, said nothing, and lifted his mask. But the man next to him, a lawyer named Zabihullah, stepped in.

年轻人盯着他,什么也没说,然后戴上了口罩。但他身边的人,一位名叫扎比胡拉(Zabihullah)的律师插了句嘴。

“The Taliban haven’t even come to Kabul and you are policing people’s behavior?” he told the middle-aged man.

“塔利班都还没进喀布尔,你就开始监管别人的行为?”他对那位中年人说。

Then it was all argument, wild and loud, about everything: corruption, democracy, failure, change.

然后就是激烈的争吵,吵到了所有问题:腐败、民主、失败与改变。

The older man said the Taliban could at least end the kleptocracy and what he called the “vulgarity” of society and bring order. The young lawyer lost it.

年长的男人说,塔利班至少可以终结盗贼统治,还有他所谓的社会“恶俗”,并带来秩序。年轻的律师失去了理智。

“You think the only thing that came of the past 20 years was vulgarity?” he said. “I am also made in the past 20 years. You think I am vulgar?”

“你认为过去20年唯一的结果就是恶俗?”他说。“我也是被过去20年塑造的人。你觉得我是恶俗?”

The older passenger tried to correct his statement, bring nuance, but the lawyer wouldn’t hold back.

年长的乘客试图纠正自己的说法,增加更多复杂性,但律师并不肯退让。

“If you think the Taliban will practice true Islam, you are wrong. I can argue with you all night with proof to show you that what they practice is Talibanism and not true Islam,” he said.

“如果你认为塔利班会奉行真正的伊斯兰教,那你就错了。我可以跟你争论整晚,用证据告诉你,他们奉行的是塔利班主义,而不是真正的伊斯兰教,”他说。

The man with the phone turned back in his seat and muttered under his breath: “There is no point in arguing with you.”

拿着电话的男人回到自己的座位,低声咕哝道:“跟你争论也没用。”

When we hit traffic, the lawyer and I got off the bus and walked. He was trying to process documents for his final exam to become a judge. He was completing a two-year equivalent of a highly competitive master’s degree — something like 13,000 applicants had sought the 300 slots, he said. On the side, he was a masterful calligrapher, continuing a dying tradition of reed and ink calligraphy. He showed me samples of his work on his phone.

路上堵车的时候,我和律师下了车,一起散步。他正在为成为一名法官准备最终考试的材料。他完成了两年学业,那相当于一个竞争激烈的硕士学位——他说差不多有1.3万人申请300个名额。此外,他还是一位出色的书法家,承袭了行将消亡的苇墨书法传统。他给我看了手机上的作品样本。

“Twenty years of effort, and all for nothing,” he said as we said goodbye.

“20年的努力,全部付诸东流,”在我们告别时,他这样说。

The Deh Afghanan roundabout, one of the busiest in Kabul, was bustling.

作为喀布尔交通最繁忙的环岛之一,阿富汗人环岛依然熙熙攘攘。

“Fresh apple juice, fresh apple juice!” the megaphone on one cart blared. “Drink, and refresh your heart!”

“新鲜的苹果汁,新鲜的苹果汁!”一辆手推车上的喇叭喊道。“尝一尝,提神醒脑!”

“Watermelon of Lashkar Gah, watermelon of Lashkar Gah!” shouted another, referring to the southern city renowned for its fruit. It had fallen to the Taliban, after weeks of car bombs, airstrikes and door-to-door fighting, just three days before.

“拉什卡尔加的西瓜!拉什卡尔加的西瓜!”另一个喇叭叫卖道,拉什卡尔加是以水果闻名的南方城市。经过数周的汽车炸弹、空袭和家门口的巷战,它已在三天前落入塔利班手中。

The Taliban’s entry into Kabul was still just a possibility at that moment. But things were changing quickly.

当时,塔利班进入喀布尔仍只是一种可能。但事情发生了迅速的变化。

As I turned onto the narrow street that leads to the Foreign Ministry, in a neighborhood with malls, government offices and many homes of the elite, a growing sense of panic was carried by the sound of revving engines. Vehicles for V.I.P.s, most of them armored, were tearing up and down the road.

当我拐进通往外交部的狭窄街道——在一个有购物中心、政府办公楼和许多权贵宅邸的街区,引擎的轰鸣声带给我一种越来越强烈的恐慌感。为贵宾们准备的车辆在路上颠簸着,其中大部分都是防弹车。

They were likely acting on information we hadn’t gotten yet — that the government’s top echelon, including President Ashraf Ghani, had fled, taking with them the final hope of an orderly handover that could have kept Taliban fighters outside the city gates.

他们很可能是根据我们还没有得到的信息采取行动的——包括总统阿什拉夫·加尼(Ashraf Ghani)在内的政府高层已经逃离,带走了本可以把塔利班武装分子挡在城外进行有序交接的最后希望。

Streams of people on foot took it in, walking close to the tall blast walls that line the street as the vehicles roared by. They were clutching documents, on urgent errands — a final bank run, a desperate search for a foreign visa. They kept surging forward, almost mechanically, certainly knowing now that their errands were in vain, and that the Taliban were coming.

当车辆轰鸣而过时,成群结队的行人紧贴着街道两旁高大的防爆墙行走。他们手里攥着文件,有急事要办——最后一次前往银行,拼命寻找外国签证。他们几乎是机械地一直向前涌,当然,他们知道现在这样忙活是徒劳的,塔利班就要来了。

One of my last stops before the Taliban began streaming into the city was the Slice Cafe and Bakery.

在塔利班开始涌入这座城市之前,我的最后一站是“切片”咖啡馆和面包房。

On a normal day, it would be packed with young people who had landed on coffee as the right match for their needs — after jumping from traditional green tea to a multitude of energy drinks in the early years of the war. This was where to find political debate, dating and flirting across the room, an after-work game of chess, or just a chance to catch your breath.

平日里,这里会挤满年轻人,他们在战争初期从传统的绿茶转向多种能量饮料后,现在已经将咖啡作为满足他们需求的最佳选择。在这里,你能看到政治辩论、约会和隔空调情、下班后的棋局,或者只是一个歇脚的机会。

The cafe was empty, except for a table with two women — both final-year medical students — and another with a woman, already a practicing doctor, and her two children. The doctor said her husband lived abroad. What was consuming her thoughts now was how, if the Taliban entered the city and re-established their old rules, she could keep managing groceries and the daily basics for her children without a male chaperone.

咖啡馆里空无一人,只有一桌坐着两个女人,都是医学院的大四学生,还有一桌是一个已是执业医生的女人和她的两个孩子。这位医生说,她丈夫住在国外。现在她想的是,如果塔利班进入这座城市,重新建立他们的旧规矩,在没有男性陪伴的情况下,她该如何处理每天的食品杂货采买和照料孩子们的日常所需。

“I was never into news. But the past couple weeks, my phone is in my hand and I am constantly scrolling to see which province falls next. The helicopters overhead multiply the fear,” said one of the medical students, 22. “The university canceled the exams today because in the past two or three subjects that we had exams everyone did so poorly — no one, in any way, was ready for exams.”

“我从来都不喜欢看新闻。但在过去的几周里,我拿着手机,不停地滑动屏幕,看下一个被攻陷的是哪个省。头顶上的直升机加剧了我的恐惧,”一名22岁的医学生说。“大学取消了今天的考试,因为在过去的两三门考试中,每个人都考得很差,无论如何,没有人为考试做好了准备。”

By early afternoon, it was increasingly clear that the government had collapsed, that the president and his entourage had gone. The signs of it were in the chorus of rumors, the people rushing home, afraid to look back in the direction from which the Taliban were said to have arrived. The streets were emptying.

到了下午早些时候,越来越明显的是,政府已经崩溃,总统和他的随从也已经离开了。从谣言四起、人们蜂拥回家、不敢回头看塔利班到达的方向中都能看出端倪。街上的人越来越少。

People moved quickly, trying to find safety. In an odd coincidence, they passed through mournful streetside commemorations of the eve of Ashura, which marks the day the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson was martyred. There were gunshots, speeding vehicles and even tanks roaming the streets — no one knew what belonged to whom. The Taliban later said the vacuum had forced them to enter the capital, to head off anarchy, rather than wait for a more gradual transition.

人们迅速行动,试图找到安全的地方。一个奇怪的巧合是,他们会匆匆路过阿舒拉节前夕充满哀悼氛围的街边纪念。阿舒拉节是先知穆罕默德的孙子殉难的日子。街上到处是枪声、超速行驶的车辆,甚至坦克,没有人知道这都是谁的。塔利班后来说,这一权力真空期让他们不得不进入首都以阻止无政府状态,而不是等待一个更渐进的过渡。

In the days since, Kabul has been a paradox that in many ways is reminiscent of the Taliban’s 1990s rule, no matter the softer tone of their public statements.

在此后的日子里,喀布尔一直充满矛盾,它在很多方面都让人想起了上世纪90年代的塔利班统治,不管他们公开声明的语气有多温和。

On the one hand, petty crime is down, walking the streets feels physically safer, and the Taliban are touting the fact that beyond the airport, casualties of war — not long after 50 to 100 people a day were being killed — are now close to zero.

一方面,轻微的犯罪减少了,走在街上感觉更安全了,塔利班还在吹嘘:在机场之外,战争造成的伤亡——不久之前每天有50到100人被杀害——现在已经接近于零。

On the other hand, there are the scenes gripping the world. Young Afghan men falling to their deaths after clinging to an American evacuation plane. Thousands of Afghan families massed outside the airport, hoping for any rescue in the last days of the Western withdrawal. The carnage of another suicide bombing, and a promise of chaos to come, even for the Taliban.

另一方面,也有些场面让世界为之揪心。年轻的阿富汗男子在抓住美国撤离飞机后坠亡。成千上万的阿富汗家庭聚集在机场外,希望在西方撤离的最后几天能得到救援。另一场自杀式爆炸的大屠杀,以及即将到来的混乱——即使对塔利班来说也是如此。

Many people, including those who are desperately trying to flee, feel a direct threat from the Taliban. But this is also about something bigger: It is about a people giving up on a country.

许多人,包括那些拼命试图逃离的人,都感受到了来自塔利班的直接威胁。但这也关乎更大的事情:这关乎人民对国家的放弃。

After 40 years of violence, and so many cycles of false hope and misleading lulls, what is gripping the hearts of many Afghans is despair: the fear that this time will be no different, unless it is worse.

在经历了40年的暴力,以及如此多次的虚假希望和误导人心的平静之后,笼罩在许多阿富汗人心中的是绝望:他们担心这一次不会有什么不同,除非情况变得更糟。

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