27 Aug 2017
Writer: Taj Mohammad Sahel

Broken by war

A mother of two sons, both martyred in the ranks of the national army, is now living in poverty.
Noor Bibi is living a life of pain and hardship. She has no hope of a good future.
Surrounded by her grandchildren, in a rented old house in the 9th District of Kandahar City, she told Killid her story.
Some months ago, armed opponents of the government killed two of her sons in an attack on Shawali Koot district, Kandahar.
Noor Bibi says that while one of her sons was married, she was trying to arrange the marriage of the second son. But that was not to be and she was left to bring the dead bodies of both sons into their home instead.
"The day was worse than doomsday," she is emphatic. "I still have a bitter taste from that day in my mouth," she adds.
Her married son has left behind two sons and a daughter. Noor Bibi has to provide for her daughter-in-law. "There is no one else so I am the one to take care of them."
In the course of the interview she came close to shedding tears, and for a few minutes she bit her tongue and kept very quiet.
"My husband (and I) brought up our sons, from childhood to youth, with difficulty. He suffered many tough days for their sake. He succumbed to illness and died."
Noor Bibi talks about the psychological pressure as well as the poverty and hardness of life that has broken her. She has no one to share her sorrows with she says. The war "ate" her sons, she adds.
She lifted her hands to God and began pleading, "God eliminate this unlucky war, a war that has wiped out many families, made many mothers sonless, made many young girls widows. God bring peace and solace to this country."
Noor Bibi asked the government to give her a house so that she can pass the remaining part of her life in peace. Officials say there are more war victims in Kandahar province than in any other province.
Ruqia Achakzai, head of women's affairs in Kandahar, says women are the unfortunate first victims of war.

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