Archive for Hazara

War’s Children

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by stevemccurry
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Young Hazara Soldier, Kabul, Afghanistan

 

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies is, in the final sense, a theft from those who
 hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”
- Dwight David Eisenhower

 

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Unknown Cambodian girl, Holocaust Museum, Phnom Penh

 

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Kuwait

 

In recent years, an estimated 20 million children have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict and human rights violations and are living as refugees in neighbouring countries or are internally displaced within their own national borders.

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Afghanistan

  

More than 2 million children have died as a direct result of armed conflict over the last decade.
More than three times that number, at least 6 million children, have been permanently disabled or seriously injured.

  

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Afghanistan

More than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their families.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 children are killed or maimed by landmines every year.
- Source:  UNICEF

  

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Afghanistan

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Afghanistan

 

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Afghanistan

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Afghanistan

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Kunduz, Afghanistan

  

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Kabul, Afghanistan

 

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Thailand

 

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Kashmir

In peace, sons bury fathers, but war violates the order of nature and fathers bury sons.

- Herodotus,  c. 484 – 425 BCE

 

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Luzon, Philippines

 

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Lebanon


Stalemate in Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2011 by stevemccurry

 

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Insane asylum, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

The pain of war has become too much for these men. Wrapped in blankets, they  have retreated into themselves.  Vulnerable and
haunted by demons, they are the uncounted casualties of decades of war.

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Hospital, Jalalabad

 

I was covering the war that erupted between the militias after the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan, photographing the aftermath of an attack on Kabul when, without warning another rocket attack began. I took cover in what turned out to be a hospital for the insane. Its residents were the victims of decades of war  – both civilians and soldiers. There were no doctors or nurses, no electricity, no running water. The smoke from the fire of a makeshift kitchen blackened the ceilings and walls. The men and women there wandered around, or sat in a catatonic stupor.

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Red Cross Hospital, Kabul

Photographers work in metaphors, trying to distill experience in pictures.  The scenes inside these hospitals get closer to showing the tragedy of the war than those of  destroyed cities.

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Hospital in Herat

The rationale for the mission has lurched from one thing to another.  Officials in Washington and in Kabul all try to explain what we are trying to accomplish.   We have been told it is to keep the streets safe in America from Al Qaeda.  It has been said that we are there to give breathing room to the Afghan government to build up their own forces.  We hear that we are there to help build Afghan institutions so that the country can have a civil society with good governance.

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Red Cross Hospital, Kabul

 

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Pul i Khumri

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Victim of Kandahar air attack in Peshawar Hospital

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Going to morgue, Kabul

 

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Terence White, AFP reporter, took this wounded Afghan fighter
to the hospital in Kabul

 

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Rocket attack in Kabul

 

The Century Foundation, a non-partisan research institute, has called on all sides of the conflict to enter into peace talks.  Lakhdar Brahimi, former UN Special representative for Afghanistan, has co-chaired a special task force with former undersecretary for political affairs Thomas Pickering.  Their recommendations are clear and blunt: it is time to stop deluding ourselves that there will be a clear victory in this war.  The report,  Negotiating Peace, was published this week.

 

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Kabul

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Kabul

Executive Summary Chapter One

Afghanistan has been at war for more than thirty years, and for nearly a decade, the international community has supported the country’s political, social, and economic reconstruction—and opposed the return to power of the Taliban. Afghans have seen many improvements over that decade, yet the resurgence of the Taliban across much of the country underscores that they are undeniably a force in Afghan society whose exclusion entails a very high cost. A majority of the Afghan people seem anxious for the contending factions to achieve a negotiated end to the war.

 

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Kabul

 

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Herat

 

 
Rahimullah Yusufzai,  senior analyst with the Pakistani TV channel, Geo TV, and the Resident Editor of the News International in Peshawar, an English newspaper in Pakistan, makes the point that the Taliban can keep fighting forever because they are fighting for their country and for their religion.  He believes that there is no military solution and that negotiations are the only way to stop the endless cycle of killing.

 

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Jalalabad

There will never be a time when we can achieve an historic battlefield victory and declare that the war is won.  Tribal groups will always vie for power.  Religious groups will always believe that the right way is only “their” way.  Women will always have to fight for their rights.

Wars end with political settlements, and it seems clear to many, if not most, that this war will have no winner.  Decades of war have been tragic for the Afghan people and the generations of children who have lost their childhoods, their limbs, and their lives.  It’s time to see if negotiations can do what shooting could not.

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Hazara Boy, Bamiyan Province

  

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Blood and Smoke in Hazarajat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by stevemccurry

Danger for the Taliban’s Favorite Victims

As the Taliban fights to make a comeback in Afghanistan, no group is in more danger than the Hazaras.  The Taliban’s favorite victims, hundreds of Hazara families froze to death while fleeing  their villages during winter attacks by the Taliban.

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Hazaras work in a candy factory in Kabul, 2006

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Farmers work in front of empty Buddha niches where the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas that had stood for over a thousand years in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2002

During its reign, the Taliban wreaked destruction and  on as many Hazara communities as they could. Scores of Hazara villages were totally destroyed and their people killed or left to search for shelter from the harsh environment of the Hindu Kush Mountains.

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Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2006

Persecuted for centuries, the Hazaras, Shiite Muslims, and protectors of the Buddhist treasures in Bamiyan for a thousand years, have been persecuted, tortured, and slaughtered, but the ravages of the Taliban are only one chapter in the long history of discrimination and abuse.

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Hazara Girl, Kabul, 2002

A local official commented that their history has been characterized by “blood and smoke.”   He said that the pain is still in his heart because of the thousands that were slaughtered or died trying to escape.

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Hazara School Boys, Bamiyan, 2002

Although most Hazaras live in central Afghanistan, the land they refer to as Hazarajat, the Hazaras who migrated to Kabul looking for work make up a large underclass, which takes jobs that other groups refuse – as bearers, street sweepers and other common laborers, the jobs that are referred to as “Hazara occupations.”  They are seen and insulted as “donkeys.”

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Hazara man pulling cart past a burning house, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1985

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Bamiyan, Afghanistan. 2007

His family is poor, his clothes used. But 15-year-old Ali Aqa isn’t deterred: He plans to be a lawyer. Childhood memories include Taliban occupation of his village in Bamiyan. “They burned everything, even my school,” he says. “I pray to God no regime comes like that again.

This fascinating and resilient people hopes to have a place at the table of Afghanistan’s government, but whatever happens in the central government in Kabul, these brave and independent people will continue to struggle for survival and dignity.

In the Shadow of Mountains

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by stevemccurry

A Portfolio of Images from Afghanistan

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Classroom in Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002

Allah is the mountain above the mountain, and it is He who entertains the idea — or not — of our next hour on the earth.

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Girls High School, Bamiyan, 2006

This is why Afghans are reluctant to bet on tomorrow. Tomorrow is not ours to presume upon. Tomorrow is the pleasure of Allah alone.

Hazara Women at Grave in Bamiyan

Hazara women at grave in Bamiyan, 2007

Insha’Allah.  The pervasive, overpowering feeling that is difficult to describe about Afghanistan.

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Bread Vendor, Kabul, 1992

It is the stubborn and unassailable conviction – the ability to endure almost anything – that defines the Afghan soul and my fascination with it.

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Father and daughter at home with folk art on the wall, Kamdesh, Nuristan, Afghanistan, 1992

It is this powerful feeling that draws me there again and again.

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Herat Ruins, 1992

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Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

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Former soldier in facility for mentally ill patients, Kabul, 1992

The Afghanistan Dilemma  – http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2009/10/04/393/

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