28 December 2007

Why A Spanish Reporter Concluded That Afghans Aren't Humans

Mònica Bernabé, writing for the Spanish daily, El Mundo, in February 2008 reflects on what Afghans have to go through
I have been travelling two week through the north of Afghanistan for two weeks, first through the province of Balkh, seeing misfortune after misfortune, and have come to the conclusion that the Afghans, men and women, are not human. And not because I consider them primitive or uncivilised (in fact, I don’t know such a hospitable people) but because, on the contrary, it is impossible that they put up with what they have to put up with.

Last week, in a hospital in Heart, I found an army of mutilated. All of them were adolescents whose legs had frozen over after passing a night in the open, tending to their flock. The doctors could not do much more than getting rid of it. And in the hospital, there followed one after another, in bed after bed, 90 young men with bandaged legs. Some were without their toes. Others without their entire legs.

The maternity ward of the hospital of Herat is a birth factory. The women have to leave the hospital half an hour after having given birth because there aren’t enough beds. Last week the number of women waiting their turn to give birth was long. In Afghanistan, the birth rate is six children for each woman and those who can give birth in hospital can be considered to be privileged. Most do so at home without any kind of medical help.

In the refugee camps of Herat, where hundreds of families, who had in the past fled the war or who have now returned from Iran, live, there are children who eat mud because they do not have anything else to put in their mouth. The diet of the wealthiest families consists of bread, rice and tea. Nothing else.

Yesterday I visited the men’s prison of Mazar-e-Sharif in the province of Balkh and the situation is even more terrible. Up to 35 men were piled, one atop another, in a cell only three metres wide and ten in length. In total in the jail there are 300 prisoners and two toilets and two showers.

Today in Mazar-e-Sharif the temperature has plummeted and the city, mostly without asphalt, has become a swamp. And again, men, women, girls and boys walked through the streets in sandals and rubber shoes, many without socks, despite the intense cold of five degrees below zero.

Some international analysts affirm vigorously that the Afghan population is fierce and war-like, and that for this they defeated the British when they tried to invade them towards the end of the 19th century, the Soviets in the Eighties, and now the U.S. troops have problems. However, I would say that the Afghan population is admirably tough, to the point that they do not seem to be of flesh and bones.

Source: http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2008/02/24/blog01/1203887461.html

1 comment:

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