A forgotten February

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It had been almost five weeks since they had last met. 35 days to be exact, but who was counting. He had entered her life suddenly, and without warning. A time during which she was despondent at times, but mostly just going through the motions with not much concern about how each day seemed to blur into the next. He had been nothing out of the ordinary. She had glanced at him once and looked away, making nothing of it. Their conversation lasted five minutes at most. He had been well versed, sweet yet polite, but he was the kind of person who didn’t really leave a lasting impression. The second conversation had been different. He had been charming, and she noticed the way his eyes creased so noticeably in the corners whenever he smiled. He smiled a lot, and she couldn’t help but smile with him. It was his kind eyes that she remembered most.

Maybe meeting him has just been another little reminder. A beautifully tragic moment of happiness shared with a stranger who lived oceans apart. Bringing back to life the dreamer in her she had so casually cast away.

Nadia Nawaz

Gateways to the soul

Kabul. Afghanistan © Nazir Ekhlass

Kabul. Afghanistan © Nazir Ekhlass

He kicked a stone in the centre of the path he was walking along, and watched silently as it clattered along the alleyway slowly coming to a stop. The sound of it echoed through the night and filled it with life, if only but for a moment.

His face, a plain emotionless mask was etched with layers of soot and filth. His feet bare. His once strong, lean body now weak and worn clothed in nothing but rags, withstanding the low temperature and chilly winds.

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And so she dances

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Kabul, Afghanistan.9 Jan 2013

The sun’s rays filtered through the web of clouds which had the valley overhung in a grey misty depression for so long. All around her the warmth had begun to melt the snow, slowly but surely it diminished leaving behind it drops of dew. The warm rays penetrated her thin clothes and warmed her soul. The mere thought of the approaching spring and the end of the long months of suffering had lifted her spirits enough to put a smile on her face. And so for the moment she chose to forget.

The sun brought to light the beauty of the surrounding valley, the white snowy peaked mountain tops which encircled her on all four sides stood tall and strong as ever, braving the test of time, war, destruction and devastation; as had she.

Copyright: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

Copyright: IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation

Peace had returned to her little part of the world; though she were a mere child long forgotten in the loneliness and misery of all that encompassed her, beneath her chest, her heart thudded away alive and resilient as ever. No amount of wretchedness could take away her feisty young spirit and the will to live which had carried her through those long endless painful nights of terror.

Looking high above her up into the clouds, she sent a smile skyward believing it would reach up and touch the hearts of her mother and father and baby brother.

Clasping hands with her little friends who now meant more than family, she began to move with the wind. Round and round she went, lifted ever so slightly by the chilly breeze, she danced to the sound of music in her head. The melody of her mother’s voice etched within her mind, woven into her soul. She moved with the rhythm of those words and felt them flow through her blood and with each beat of her heart and the pulse of blood coursing through her veins, she had never felt happier to be alive.

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

nadia nawaz

Through his eyes

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

He raised his head and looked up at the sky in a desperate attempt to be rid of the hell he was living in. His face a mask of anguish, his eyes brimming with tears as he stared up into the dark night sky. He was not ashamed of the tears that rolled down his cheeks for he had been strong for much too long. His breath caught in his throat as he felt his strength slowly seep out of him.

Mustering all his energy he raised his hands and yelled in frustration. The pain gnawed at him eating away at his insides day by day yet there was nothing he could do but watch. Spread all around him were stacks of dead bodies and human remains, left so savagely in the streets, unclaimed, deserted and unburied.

Bread vendor, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992 © Steve McCurry

Bread vendor, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992
© Steve McCurry

The war had taken away from him, the very reason for his existence. His hopes and dreams crushed so brutally, he had become hardened by the physically demanding task of survival.

The human suffering and agony was unbearable to witness, a strong beautiful young man once so full of hope now a hollow mask of ruin and isolation along with the many other children of war…

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Source: Afghanistan in Photographs-Facebook

Nadia Nawaz