War is a scary event which happens to destroy cities, lives and take everything a person would have in life. It is always difficult for children to understand what war is and why it happens. If children get affected by a frightening event like war, that affection would remain with them for the rest of their lives. It might cause them aggression, depression, disability and stress. Children who are affected by war mostly live with an inside anger that may finally drag them into smuggling, murder and drug trafficking. These will contribute enormous problems for society which is hard to control and eliminate.
I have interviewed a number of children and some other locals in Afghanistan about war. I still remember the innocent faces of those three kids who were following me in kabul at Chicken Street. They were begging for 10 or 20 Afghani which is around 50 cent of a dollar. I took them down the road and sat for a while and asked them.
  • Why you kids are on street and running behind people for money?
  • The obvious answers were, ‘we need money to eat!’
  • I asked, are you the only money makers in the family?
  • Two of them said yes. One of them said no, my mother also works. She cooks bread for our neighbor once in a week and they pay her. She also begs on street like me, but not Chicken Street. She is on main road.
  • I asked, why do not your fathers or your older brothers work?
  • The painful answers were; ‘they are all dead in war.’
  • I asked, what does war mean to you all and why war happens? I got three different answers.
  • a) war is the rocket which comes from sky and kills people like my father, b) war is a bomb and blow up people and c) war is Taliban.
However the concept of war was different in case of an old woman who knocked on my door for money and food. She hardly was walking and came all the way up to 5th floor to have a piece of bread, or money or clothes for winter.
  • I asked her, mother Jan (dear), you are not in age of begging, what your story is and why you are begging?
  • The old woman said. I lost my son in war, he was dead in a rocket and I have his children to support.
  • I asked, what about your daughter in- law, is not she working?
  • She said, she was working during Taliban, but she was caught and beaten badly by a Talib on street. Although, she mentioned that her husband is dead and she has to support her family, but was not reasonable for Taliban. She was in pain for a week and then died.
  • I asked, mother Jan how would you describe war?
  • She said, war means lost with no return. It took everything i had in life and made me to beg for family support.
  • I asked, then why war happens, do you know?
  • She said, strangers want to take the piece of land we are living in that is why war happens.
Well! This was the definition of war from an old woman perspective. However, this was again different in the case of a taxi driver. When i asked him, what is war and why it happens? He said, war happens because politicians work for self-interest rather than country and children and poor people are then victimized of their actions. It looks like Afghanistan is suffering from civil war for many years and poor people have been shouldering the burden of war. But the fact is transparent that children are mostly the victims. They are suffering with every breath they take. They experience awful days like, heavy labor, playing with guns, watching people dying in front of their eyes, making money and not having enough to eat and wear (see children of conflict). So, who is responsible for this? Who takes accountability of these victimized children? Do you think government will be able to help these children return to school? Do you think we will have a stable country to return and help people? Do you think we will have Afghanistan back?