Afghanistan II

Salaam from Afghanistan again.

My second field trip was to the village of Kishindeh. The road was very dusty due to construction. A new highway is being built; it will connect Mazar-e-Sharif (Balkh province) and Darae Souf (Samangan province).

New highway is being built

Anything which stands in the way of the construction must go. Hills are leveled, houses are demolished.  Shahib Nazar’s house for example will be devoured by the highway. Shahib told me he has to move in two weeks. He should get a new house from the construction company, but so far no one has told him where it will be. He is worried that he will lose his house and will not get a new one.

Shahib Nazar’s house

While the big highway is under construction, small roads are being created as well. These roads are made from rocks that the construction crew brings by hands. Shovels and pickaxes are used instead of big machines.

Roads are made from rocks that crews break with sledgehammers

Rocks are brought by hands

Afghan women didn’t want to be photographed. Actually, their men forbid them to be photographed. I was told by them that Islam religious doesn’t allow women to be photographed. I assume I could take a pictures but without their faces visible. So I did.

A woman totally obscured by a veil stands holding her unveiled daughter

A widow, dressed in a white burqa, in the village of Bachaley

A woman spins wool

The harvest season has begun. In Afghanistan, men usually harvest grain manually with a sickle, a scythe is unknown here. Tractors are rarely seen.

A man harvesting wheat

I went to two schools; one was built by an NGO and the second is a state school which has one small room with one window and a blackboard. Pupils sit on the floor; there are neither tables nor chairs.

State school

A school built by NGO

I think that schools, whether without or with tables, are good. It is good children go to school at all. But some do not like Fauzya (12), for example, and she is not alone; she doesn’t go to school, she doesn’t know how to read or write. She studies only the Koran in a mosque.  I was told that she will be married to some old man when she is 15.

Fauzya

Bye for now

Iva

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