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


Entry Description: Zarghoma and her family escaped from Kabul to Pakistan during the reign of the Taliban. When they returned to Afghanistan in 2001 they rebuilt their home on the small parcel of land that the family had owned. The new home was built with mud bricks. On February the 8, 2013, after a heavy snowstorm, the family went to the home of one of her daughters, Farzana. The walls of the house had begun to crack and they were afraid it would collapse. The next day Zarghoma returned to her home and indeed, it had collapsed and was now uninhabitable.

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. Zarghoma, 50, was a child bride at age ten. She was married to Baba Ghulam Farooq who was 50 at the time. Now he is 90. She had her first child at age 12. Barialy, her youngest son, now 17, was injured in a bombing of their home at the end of the Afghan Civil War. Each day she must take him to a busy street in Kabul for 2 to 4 hours to beg, until she has collected 10 dollars. Zarghoma and her family escaped from Kabul to Pakistan during the reign of the Taliban. When they returned to Afghanistan in 2001 they rebuilt their home on the small parcel of land that the family had owned for many years. The new home was built with mud bricks. On February the 8, 2013, after a heavy snowstorm, the family went to the home of one of her daughters, Farzana. The walls of the house had begun to crack and they were afraid it would collapse in the night. The next day Zarghoma returned to her home and indeed, it had collapsed and was now uninhabitable.

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