Entry Title: "Forgotten Afghanistan - Abdul Aziz"
Name: Gloriann Liu , United States
Category and Expertise: Photo Essay and Feature Story|Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional


Entry Description: Abdul Aziz lost his right leg when he was hit by shrapnel from a rocket in 1996, near the end of the Afghanistan Civil War. In the bombing, two brothers also were injured and his father was killed. He was only able to complete the sixth grade because after he was injured, the Taliban was fighting to take over control of the government in Afghanistan, and it was difficult to make his way to the the nearest school. Abdul Aziz lives with his extended family in the Da Afghanan Area of downtown Kabul.

Story: War in Afghanistan has now extended beyond its thirtieth year. Many Afghans do not know what it is like to live without the constant threat of the terror of war. There are many layers to the ruin and devastation as seen in the destroyed lives and homes. Thousands of landmines are still scattered across the farmlands, in orchards, and hidden beneath the ground on the rugged mountainsides. There are unexploded bombs in the yards of many homes waiting to claim more victims. Of course, the biggest tragedy is the thousands of lives that have been lost. Forgotten Afghanistan, the project that I have been photographing for the past four years, seeks to tell stories of the continuing suffering of the Afghan people after the bombs and rockets have fallen. These photographs afford a clear view into the lives of disabled Afghans. The people that I have photographed and interviewed are disabled victims from the war with the Soviets, 1979-1989, the Civil War, 1992-1996, and the war against the Taliban, 1996-2001. Abdul Aziz lost his right leg when he was hit by shrapnel from a rocket in 1996, near the end of the Afghanistan Civil War. In the bombing, two brothers also were injured and his father was killed. He was only able to complete the sixth grade because after he was injured, the Taliban was fighting to take over control of the government in Afghanistan, and it was difficult to make his way to the the nearest school. Abdul Aziz lives with his extended family in the Da Afghanan Area of downtown Kabul. He works every morning helping the Disabled Council organize the taxi queues in a busy area of Kabul. The International Red Cross sponsors basketball, swimming and weightlifting for the disabled. Aziz loves participating in all three sports.

About the Artist: