And then came the Taliban and their extreme form of Islam. For Janis, and probably most Afghan people, this just kind of happened, out of the blue. One day, as Janis recounts, Afghans were told via a BBC radio broadcast, Janis says, "There wouldn't be school for girls, that females couldn't go outside. They should stay at home, and no one could see her face. I had my mom at home, and I wanted her to go out with us, and she couldn't."
Just a couple nights after hearing about the takeover on the radio, it started. "We were sleeping and we heard gunshots," he says. They awoke to learn that the band of mujahedeen who'd controlled the city before had fled Jalalabad, his home, and the Taliban had control. Janis was outside playing with his friends when two or three Taliban trucks came rolling by. He recalled the men as having "big turbans" and beards and being generally "dirty." The Taliban introduced themselves to Janis' neighborhood when they "leapt out of trucks and started beating girls, women, everyone on the street." It was a good day to be an asshole with a gun, but a pretty bad time for everyone else.
The next night, Janis and his family again listened in on the BBC News. They heard that the Taliban now controlled the capital Kabul and 90 percent of Afghanistan. The first few days of Taliban control were met with widespread murder; the president and his brother were executed and road-hauled across the city.
Janis and his family decided to move to Pakistan because of all that shit in the previous paragraph. And then, Arnold Schwarzenegger came into Janis' life.