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Afghanistan: testimonies from those affected by conflict

07-06-2007 Feature

Three Afghanis explain how their lives have been altered by conflict and their contact with the ICRC and the Afghanistan Red Crescent Society.

 My name is Shaffikah. My father’s name is Sayid Ishaq.  I am 17 years old. We are a family of 8. I am the eldest. My father is an old man and my mother died during the war. We lived here in Kabul during the fighting. Then we migrated to Iran. Our living conditions there were very bad. So we returned here. We had nothing, we were very poor. The wakil came to us and told us about the Afghan Red Crescent Society. This agency helps destitute families. They came and surveyed us. They introduced us to a trainer who taught us carpet weaving and they supported us materially. Now, I have learned carpet weaving very well and I am able to train myself other people. My hopes are that my carpet weaving will allow me to support my father and to contribute to the education of my small brothers and sisters. This is very important for me: to help my brothers and sisters.



 My name is Ainullah. I live in Hodkhil. I am 33 years old. I am married and I have children. When the war started, our family migrated to Pakistan. I was about 9 years old. We stayed there almost 10 years. When returned home, the fighting started again. One day, as I was collecting wood, I stepped on a mine! When the fighting intensified, we settled in Jalalabab in Hadda Camp. There, the ICRC assisted us by giving us flour, tea, sugar, dhee, rice and beans. The ICRC and the Afghan Red Crescent Society traine d me in tailoring. Their financial and material support was a strong incentive for me. This programme lasted for 9 months. It allowed me to open my own shop in my village. All the time, I was saying to myself: if it wasn’t for these programmes I would be like a beggar in the street.



 My name is Ghulam Farook. I live in Guzargah. I am 45, married and the father of eight children. I used to be a Government employee. After the change of regime, I became unemployed. I lost my legs and my father was killed during the bombing here in Kabul. After that, I was treated in Wazir Akbar Akhan Hospital which was supported by the Red Cross. At this time, I borrowed 100,000 afghanis from a friend to seek refuge in Pakistan. The situation was very difficult because I had lost both my legs. My children were too small. When we returned here, my house had been completely destroyed. I heard that the ICRC was making loans and I went to see them and told them about my situation. I asked for a loan. They gave it to me. I didn’t know what to do with the money. Finally, I decided to continue my father’s business. It was not easy for me, so I hired people to help me. Today, thanks to this loan I am able to support my family. It allows me to continue my life without depending on others. It gave me credibility. I am very happy about this.