Archived posts with tag ‘jirga’

11.05.10
Zach in Afghanistan: The Justice/Peace Divide

Sidiqua, 18 years old, cries gently as she talks about her life. At the age of three, Hezb-i-Islami rocketed her home while assaulting Kabul; the first put a piece of shrapnel in her back that the local hospital had no capacity to remove. The second rocket killed her mother, brothers and aunt. Her father, bearing permanent mental scars, cannot bear the pain of seeing her; though he has a home in Kabul, she is not allowed inside it and he often sleeps in the streets. Without family, a crucial part of Afghan social life, Sidiqua is adrift. She is unemployed and broke. The government, which gives her 8,000 Afghanis a year — about $160, well below the cost of living — denied her request for land, Sidiqua says, because she is a woman and cannot build a house. To survive, she moves between the houses of her neighbors. “I need my mother,” she weeps, “where is my mother now?”

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