By Nadia Maiwandi
When I see what’s going on in Palestine, I can’t help but make the connection to Afghanistan, a country that has lived through hell for over 35 years. When I was there in 2003 and 2006, I saw hundreds who lived with devastating injuries and poverty on levels unimaginable.
Everyone had stories about relatives they buried prematurely; some had lost dozens in their families and were just trying to survive with what little of themselves remained.
(Photo by Jerry Lampen)
One boy I met had his face blown off by a landmine and reattached sideways. Another we found alone, unable to communicate, and with a fresh scar and stitches running across his shaved head. I cannot tell you how many I saw with missing limbs and other disabilities. Children as young as 4 and 5 work to support their families because without an able-bodied adult in the home, there is no other choice.
(Photo by Steve McCurry)
How does the world let this happen and then blame these folks– these children– for their suffering, for their lack of education and their poverty, even for their own deaths? Should we believe that those who are born in Muslim countries are born with targets on their backs? If one in thousands is to fire a rocket, if their land is on YOUR oil, if they are rumored to be building defenses against your army, if they might be able to bleed your enemies, then hey, they were just pawns to begin with– fire away.
(Photo by Peter Galan)
Nadia Maiwandi is a writer living in Southern California