A test of time –Her life

http://www.flickr.com/photos/superboggly/

The Afghan-Tajik border. Panj river can also be seen. © Alexander

Day after day she watched as the bombs landed somewhere in the distance, not too far from her shelter, destroying her city and all she stood for. The vast valleys surrounding her with their beauty unmatched by any other place were slowly becoming a victim of the brutality of other men. Men she watched with trepidation in her eyes, yet was somehow unable to despise. For when she offered them tea or water, she saw in their eyes a nothingness and hollowness like none she had ever witnessed before. Above all she pitied them and feared for their souls, for they were mere puppets, following orders of a superior power, bound by an oath too powerful to overrule.

She spent the days tending her sick and injured babies, struggling so hard to fight a battle with an end so imminent. But she refused to give up. The dreams of a better life were forever alive within her heart. And as she lay down on the stretch of hard ground at the close of a long hard day, looking up at the stars, she recalled all that her mother had taught her so many years before. Continue reading

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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

Will you be hunted?

I was brought up being told to dream big. But simply dreaming big was not where it stopped. Following my dreams, trusting my instincts, and doing what was right was also mandatory.

I have always gone by this rule and followed my heart, doing things which make me happy all the while keeping within certain limitations and self-imposed boundaries. I have learnt to pick myself up along the way, never ever to back down once crushed and to plough ahead constantly replaying my moment of glory in my head. This has helped me a lot, especially during those tough times when I feel as though I’m alone out there, fighting a battle which refuses to end, daring me to make one wrong move; or maybe just a tiny slip.

But what if someone tells you that dreaming big is wrong, that your rule is faulty and your goals unrealistic and unattainable; that all your ambitions are way out of this world? They try their hardest to undermine you, and demoralize you with every step you take, waiting for the moment when you are most vulnerable.Seems like a huge slap across the face and an awful lot to swallow especially after all those years of envisioning the very dreams people now consider impractical and naive.

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You suddenly begin to go over and re-consider all your plans. You become unsure of yourself, your own abilities which you were so sure of before now seem to be flawed and incapable of helping you achieve your goals. Your targets begin to seem unattainable and those dreams which seemed so vivid before now become a hazy mirage at the back of your vision. You let other people weaken you and you lose.

The power they now have over you is so enormous; it has the magnitude to destroy all you set out to achieve. You begin to drown.

Word’s always have the impact to make or break a person. Letting someone’s words affect you in such a drastic way could be the stepping stone, which if allowed, could result in your downfall.

Though it may seem impossible and extremely hard at times, being strong and standing your ground is the only thing which can help keep us standing. The world is full of hungry vulture’s busy hunting. The question is this, will you allow yourself to become a victim; a prey to be hunted?

nadia nawaz