Sample text for Kabul in winter : life without peace in Afghanistan / Ann Jones.


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On Thursdays, the Ministry for Martyrs and the Disabled gives out stipends to certifiable war casualties. Early in the morning, they make their way to the Ministry: women in faded, tattered burquas and men wrapped against the cold in pattus of military brown. They come singly or in twos and threes, assembling into a grave procession of the lame, the halt, and the blind. One-legged men, victims of land mines, hobble on their Red Crescent crutches. This is the country of one-legged men.
Officially disabled, they drag their shattered bodies over the rough pavements, stopping traffic at every crossing. They press on amid the honking horns, seeking no miracles, merely the wherewithal to make it through another week. Every day, the mines that salt the roadsides and the dead orchards and the fallow fields explode to create new martyrs and new casualties. Every New Year’s Day, thousands of Kabulis visit a hillside shrine and somebody steps on a mine—this year, it was an eighteen-year-old boy who lost both legs. And every week, the Thursday procession grows longer and more belligerent. They are Kabul’s most aggressive pedestrians.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Kċabol (Afghanistan) -- Description and travel.
Afganistan -- Description and travel.
Afganistan -- Social life and customs.
Afghanistan -- History.