Elections or more tension? This is the question worrying all Afghans as we come to another election. We’ve had enough tensions already in 2014. First it was “What will happen if the Americans leave Afghanistan? Will the world let us continue without any trouble? Will we be able to live in a peaceful environment?”

Then it was “What will happen after 2014?” Our concerns were bigger, but thank God there was not a serious problem. We were happy until the next tension arose—the elections in April. Can we do that? Can we overcome the expense? Will people go to vote? Will there be peace on Election Day? These questions concerned all Afghans but we accepted the reality. If we want a bright future for our land, we have to do this, we have to go to the polls and choose someone worthy of the position.

We Afghans were successful with that. The number of voters was high. The lines of people standing to vote were as long as our hopes. The elections would be finished. The election was really important for Afghan history because it was a democratic election in which one president would give way to another democratically elected leader. We all waited for the results that would affect all of our lives.

But the result was disappointing. We were not mentally prepared for another election. It is difficult to deceive ourselves again. What will happen this time? Will there be peace? Will people vote again? Will government be able to provide services?

These are the questions now occupying our minds. Although we try to be optimistic, sometimes we lose hope of a bright future for this country. Sometimes we think that we are lying to ourselves, nothing is going to change here in Afghanistan. Sometimes seeing the current situation, it is like our hopes are grains of sand slipping from our hands.

This is a most difficult time for our people, but we have faith God will bring brightness after this dark night. Let’s think positively and hope to see all Afghans again in the June 14 presidential runoff election, one that can change our lives. We must have faith that everything is going to be right during the elections. But all we can do is to pray.

By Farahnaz R.

Photos of Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (by S.K. Vemmer) and Abdullah Abdullah (by Philippe Grangeaud).