Saturday, February 18, 2012

Afghanistan’s Children

What happens to a society when its youth die? In the warzone that is Kabul, a family of eleven has been reduced to three. Savid and his wife Lailuma lost their three month old son Khan Mohammed on the morning of 8 February, the eighth of their nine children to perish.
War refugee camp elder Mohammed Ibrahim blamed Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government for neglecting its people.French group SolidaritĂ©s International surveyed mortality rates and concluded that 144 out of every 1,000 children under 5 are dying in these camps. The cold alone has claimed a confirmed 28 children in the past month.
When children die, there results a two-fold mourning: firstly, for the emptiness left by a missing human being in our world; secondly, for the loss of what we instinctively understand as our Future. The death of so many children in Afghanistan lends itself to a terrible but crucial examination of the effect of the loss of the next generation on cultural security.
Cultural security includes the protection of traditions, knowledge, practices, and beliefs. Without a mouthpiece, especially in villages where oral rendition remains a key element of legacy, the thread that connects people to their pasts and secures them to their futures is broken. Afghanistan is torn. What will be left in this country tomorrow, without the children?
Originally posted by Yasmeen Hussain on

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