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Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:06 AM

In Kabul, Widows and Orphans Move Up

By Kathy Kelly

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Kabul -- Yesterday, four young Afghan Peace Volunteer members, Zainab, Umalbanin, Abdulhai, and Ali, guided Martha and me along narrow, primitive roads and crumbling stairs, ascending a mountain slope on the outskirts of Kabul. The icy, rutted roads twisted and turned. I asked if we could pause as my heart was hammering and I needed to catch my breath. Looking down, we saw a breathtaking view of Kabul. Above us, women in bright clothing were navigating the treacherous roads with heavy water containers on their heads or shoulders. I marveled at their strength and tenacity. “Yes, they make this trip every morning,” Umalbanin said, as she helped me regain my balance after I had slipped on the ice.

About ten minutes later, we arrived at the home of Khoreb, a widow who helped us realize why so many widows and orphans live in the highest ranges of the mountain. Landlords rent one-room homes at the cheapest rates when they are at this isolating height; many of the homes are poorly constructed and have no pipes for running water. This means the occupants, most often women, must fetch water from the bottom of the hill each and every morning. A year ago, piped water began to reach some of the homes, but that only meant the landlords charged higher rent, so women had to move higher up the mountain for housing they can afford. It only made their daily water-carrying longer and more arduous.

Khoreb’s home, like that of each family we visited, was neatly kept. She had formerly shared the one-room dwelling with only her daughter. But when the one-room house next door was rendered unlivable by water damage from a storm, the family of eight that lived there had nowhere to go. On Khoreb's invitation, they now live in her room.

Throughout our visit, she and her daughters cracked open almond nuts, and they didn't throw away the shells: they saved them to feed them into a small heater; the nut shells are needed as fuel. They didn't snack on the almonds; the almonds were shelled for eventual sale in the market place. Cracking and selling almonds is their main source of income. The women have no brothers, sons, or husbands to help them.


Full Article: http://www.zcommunications.org/in-kabul-widows-and-orphans-move-up-by-kathy-kelly

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Reply In Kabul, Widows and Orphans Move Up (Original post)
polly7 Jan 2013 OP
Uncle Joe Jan 2013 #1
hue Jan 2013 #2
cbrer Jan 2013 #3

Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:04 PM

1. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, polly.

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:40 PM

2. Thanks for this! K&R

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Response to polly7 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:23 PM

3. During the winter months

 

A woodsmoke cloud hangs over the city. It is their primary fuel. Quite a few Kabul residents walk daily to the military installations to get work. they typically are ill clad for winter weather, and wearing sandals. Last year we got ~10-12 feet of snow. So far this season, it's not as bad.
It's interesting to observe a foreign culture. It's so different from ours, and their values reflect those differences.

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