" a more Afghan way of dying "
Afghanistan is one of the three most heavily mined countries in the world. 200,000 civilians have been been killed by landmines, and 400,000 disabled.
Mine clearing is a major focus of international aid. The HALO Trust employs 3,300 Afghans to clear mines, and has destroyed over 700,000 mines since 1988.
In 2001, Luke Powell took a remarkable series of photographs of landmine victims. We are very grateful for his kind permission to publish a number of his pictures in this Profile.
" they massacred the Hazaras "
The Blue Mosque in Mazar-i Sharif - Credit: Steve Evans
On August 8, 1998, the Taliban captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif
in northwest Afghanistan. Previously, the city was controlled by the United Front, a coalition opposed to the Taliban. Immediately, the Talib conquerors began shooting civilians in large numbers throughout the city. Witnesses described a "killing frenzy". Hundreds of civilians were killed. In the following days, the Taliban carried out house-to-house searches for male Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks, who were then executed. The massacre was a retaliation for the deaths of 3,000 Taliban soldiers the previous year during an unsuccessful earlier attempt to capture the city.
Mazar-i Sharif was the first city captured by the Northern Alliance with US military support in 2001.
Human Rights Watch Report
" Qawali music playing "
A traditional Sufi music form performed mostly in Urdu or Punjabi, Qawwali
can induce trance-like states in both performers and audience. The subject may be spiritual or secular, with love and longing being common themes. Qawwali originated in Persia but is now found primarily in South Pakistan and North India.
Allah Hoo Allah Hoo Allah Hoo