Thomas Burke - Uneasy Peace

Uneasy Peace


Thomas Burke


            When Hassan finally heard silence, he crept out of his hiding spot he hollowed out of the earth. He made sure his makeshift shelter would protect him from harm while his father, Muhammad, fought. Hassan hated when the explosions and gunshots started because he knew there was a chance his father wouldn’t come home. His mother told him they needed the money and they were afraid the Taliban would kill them if they refused.

When Muhammad was very young he fought with his father against the Russians earning him a reputation for his proficiency in combat. Once his people had overthrown communism in their country, Muhammad wanted to return home to farm and start a family but his father had other plans. Muhammad’s father had political aspirations and forced Muhammad to attend university in Tehran where he studied Military History and from their studied at Oxford where he received a degree in Theology.

During his time in battle Muhammad began writing about Allah and his inner struggles with the acts he was committing. After attending school in England he returned to Afghanistan and confronted his father. No longer would he be made to be an instrument of war, he would move south and live on the river and grow corn. His father loved Muhammad and understood the pain of war. While he has his responsibilities to maintain he allowed Muhammad to leave and start a new peaceful life.           

            Muhammad searched throughout the Helmand to find the lushest farmland he could. When he found what he was looking for he hired local laborers to build a lavish compound and was very generous in paying for the work. He had built a fortune during the war and had little regard for money.

The next week after moving in he attended mosque and asked the imam for a wife. The imam directed him to a local landowner with beautiful daughters. Muhammad offered the landowner a hefty dowry. Between his reputation and his fortune any father would lucky to give away her, so the landowner jumped at the chance.

Hassan was born almost 10 months to the day after the wedding and was the pride of Muhammad’s life, he vowed he would never leave his son or force him to fight like his father did.

When the American’s came it all changed very quickly. The Taliban immediately sent for Muhammad, he knew he had no choice and reluctantly agreed. He refused to lead however afraid to send more boys to their deaths, and instead chose to only fight honorably face to face with his enemy.

Hassan was especially scared tonight he knew his father was alone and the only thing silence meant was death.