With his eyes looking at the ground, always moving his hands, Ahn (not his real name), 22, justifies why he is smoking a cigarette: “I'm a sportsman, I shouldn't smoke, but now I need to”.
He says it's the cigarette that helps him calm down because since the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan and conquered the capital Kabul, he hasn't been able to sleep, worried about the entire family that still lives in the country, including his father, uncles and cousins, about 30 people.
“Since the war started, I've been stressed, I'm always thinking about my family, but not only about my family, about all poor people, and what the future of Afghanistan will be like, I'm always stressed and then I can't sleep, I can't explain,” he said, in an interview with Lusa News Agency.
According to Ahn, whoever has money can leave the country like the case of the Afghan President: "People like him, who had money, left, people who are poor [the Taliban] kill."
For a few months he had difficulty talking to his family because in the city where they lived the network sometimes did not work, but now that they are in Kabul he has been talking to them almost every day.
He says they're fine, they're at home, but reveals that his greatest desire was to be able to bring them all together, a reality that says it won't be possible for now because he has no money and right now it's “very difficult to travel to Portugal".
"If I could help bring them here, as soon as they arrive, I'll take the nationality, I don't want the dual nationality, I want the Portuguese nationality, I'm no longer Afghan", he says, with conviction, and then says he's ashamed of what is now going on in the country.
For Ahn, an Afghan refugee living in Portugal for almost five years, the Afghanistan future “will never be better”.
“Afghanistan has no future, the country has been at war for 50 years, and it has no future. This causes a lot of sadness and I'm very ashamed, the whole world is looking at us”, he pointed out.
Also Wahid (fictitious name), 33 years old, living in Portugal as refugee for four years, has little hope for the country's future, quite the opposite. With conviction, he says that “the situation is going to get worse” because the Taliban are not a new or unknown group, everyone already knows what they are capable of, namely with the minority ethnic groups.
“We're Hazara, we're a minority and the Taliban don't like it and any day they could do bad things to them,” he says, referring to her sister and nephews who live in Kabul, the only family he has left in the country.
He managed to talk to her sister one day after the Taliban conquered Kabul and it is through her that she found out that “the situation is getting worse, it is getting worse every day”, that she is afraid of being killed and that she just wants to get out of the country somewhere.
It is also his sister, with whom he has spoken regularly, who tells him that public services are closed, banks and health centers are not working, not to mention the borders or the airport.
“People's social life too, everything is closed. If families need to buy something they can't, then the situation is very difficult and now it's very ambiguous because we don't know what will happen”, he pointed out.
He admits that the fear is greater now because the Taliban "look stronger than 20 years ago, they have more weapons and more military vehicles in the country."
“More fear of killing people because they want to establish an Islamic government according to their interpretation. They don’t accept other beliefs and minorities and those people who worked with foreigners are also in danger now, everyone is” he said.
In relation to his sister, one of the things that makes him a little bit more calm is the fact that she is married and that leaves her “more protected”, since “for other girls it is very difficult because the Taliban force them to marry”.
As for the last years and the future of the country, Wahid understands that the international community has already helped a lot, both in the formation of a new government and the army, in the formation of a new constitution and in establishing a “democracy system” or in creating institutions to defend human rights.
"Now it depends on the Afghans, it is the Afghans who have to maintain this achievement", he defends.
However, he is not very optimistic about this possibility and ends up admitting that the country will “lose everything from the achievements of the last 20 years”.
The Taliban conquered Kabul, culminating an offensive that began in May, when the withdrawal of US and NATO military forces began.
International forces have been in the country since 2001, as part of the offensive led by the United States against the extremist regime (1996-2001), which welcomed in its territory the leader of al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden, mainly responsible for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001.
The seizure of the capital ended a 20-year foreign military presence in Afghanistan by the United States and its NATO allies, including Portugal.
Faced with the brutality and radical interpretation of Islam that marked the previous regime, the Taliban have assured Afghans that "life, property and honor" will be respected and that women will be able to study and work.
On 17 August, EU diplomats decided to move forward with the withdrawal of civilians and diplomats from Afghanistan, including European citizens, due to the "dangerous situation" facing the country.