A U.S. soldier from 127th Military Police (MP), Task Force "Cacti" and a linguist walk along a road during a patrol in Khas Konar district in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan October 6, 2011. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

Hameed Tasal was 13-years-old in the fall of 2001, when he saw trucks full of Taliban fighters speed out of Jalalabad with only dust left in their wake. For Hameed, like the majority of the population of Afghanistan, the nation’s recent history can be clearly divided into two parts - before and after the fall of the Taliban regime.

For the 50 per cent of Afghans under 30, the past 10 years have been a time of great accomplishment and dashed hopes as foreign forces looking in search of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda members also drove Taliban rule from the Central Asian nation.

Now 10 years after the start of what was dubbed Operation Enduring Freedom, Al Jazeera’s Ali M. Latifi speaks to three young Afghans about a range of experiences: growing up under Taliban rule, returning home after years in exile, witnessing corruption at the polls, women’s rights, and even rocking out to the sounds of Afghanistan’s first music festival in over 30 years.

  • The Underdog: Hameed Tasal

  • The Return: Masuma Ibrahimi

  • The Rocker: Mohamad Jawad