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Afghanistan Times

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Opinion: Let’s make something at home

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By Ezzatullah Mehrdad-He has made a car, with his own money, by his own hands; it works. “I have not given up on Afghanistan yet,” Ahmad Murtaza proudly says, pointing to a car near to us in his yard.

The 16-year old inspired talented Afghan didn’t remain in the news so much. He has made only one national TV appearance and this article is the first newspaper coverage.

“I became hopeful as I switched on my car.” Murtaza, who studies in the eighth class of a public high school, works part time to earn money, around $1,000, to buy and store equipment of used motorcycles. “My car is exceptional: you can turn it on by a switch, or handle by your foot. It’s likely a combination of car and motorcycle.”

Dusty streets of Kabul are full inspiration for him, as he works as driver. What the half-time mechanic of motorcycles, the driver and the student kept driving toward his dreams was his dreams: “I always wanted to build something.”

“Don’t let your talent remain hidden.” He encourages other young Afghans. “Go and build something. I know you are talented.”

But the talented Afghans are not being seen. Most of them never received enough attention from Afghan media outlets. There is no competition. No award. No center for them. Handful of them emerges from across the country and then goes back to shadow.