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  • Jalabad, 16.04.15 Due to overcrowding and some delapidation of the classrooms, many of the classes are held outdoors. This school also included the presence of some boys, mostly children of the female teaching staff. GIRLS EDUCATION STORY HEADER: Several girls schools were visited during this photo-mission in Afghanistan. Unicef supports the schools in a variety of ways, and also uses the environment to promote health incentives and programs, such as the polio eradication program. Other support includes improved water and sanitation, school material supplies for the children, improvement of the school environment.

  • IDPs fetch water to bring to their camp which has no services in Karizak, (near Herat) ,Afghanistan 13. 04.2015 These IDPs photographed are from several different ethnic groups that have moved over the last two years to the outskirts of Heart to an area called Karizak. Some of them are fleeing instability or conflict, but many of them are also economic migrants.

  • A man sells cold treats from a small stall on wheels. Herat, Afghanistan, 2015

  • Herat Afghanistan, boys work washing cars in auto-repair shops near the ruins of an ancient mosque whose remaining minarets are historic landmarks of Herat. Child labour is very common in Afghanistan and is commonly accepted without much stigma. Virtually all of the jobs outside the home are done by boys.

  • A boy who works in an auto repair shop in Herat, takes a moment to comb his hair in the mirror of one of the cars.

  • A boy working as a porter at the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan., Torkum, Afghanistan, 2015

  • Boys that work as rag-pickers photographed in the centre of Kabul. 15.04.2015

  • Children enter a school tent provided by Unicef to IDP,s in a camp on the outskirts of Herat. April 2015

  • Participants at a vaccination program in Torkum, Afghanistan, 2015 A child recieves his polio vaccine while on the bus that is at the Torkham Afghan/Pakistan border crossing East of Jalalabad. This outreach program of vaccination for polio is part of the nation-wide eradication program.

  • Children play in the Hazara dominated neighbourhood of Kabul.

  • Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 18 Apr. 2015 A male nurse works to stabilise a boy who was seriously injured in the bombing of the Afghan bank in Jalalabad. Over 100 people were injured by the blast, including several children. The bombing that targeted lines of government workers waiting outside a bank for their paycheques. The attack was credited to ISIS in Aghanistan.

  • In April 2002, children play in the ruins of the King's Darul Aman palace on the outskirts of Kabul. It had been destroyed in factional fighting of the 1990's.

  • The Palace, Kabul

    In April 2002, children play in the ruins of the King's Darul Aman palace on the outskirts of Kabul. It had been destroyed in factional fighting of the 1990's.

  • KABUL, April 2002

    Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival Nauruz was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • KABUL, 2002

    Children are captivated by a electric dancing doll for sale. Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival Nauruz was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • Kabul, spring 2002

  • Herat, 2002

    A girl explores an empty schoolhouse shortly before classes resume. Schooling for girls was prohibited under the Taliban rule.

  • Kabul, 2002

    Haircut by the mosque, Kabul, 2002

  • Girls school, Kabul, 2002

  • Herat, April 2002

    Girls crowd into a dusty schoolhouse shortly before classes resume. Schooling for girls was prohibited under the Taliban rule.

  • Kabul, 2002

    Boys register for school in a primarily Hazara district of Kabul. Although boys had access to education under the Taliban, the school system was re-launched in the spring of 2002.

  • Festival, Kabul, spring 2002

    Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • KABUL, 2002

    A soldier threatens a child in the Russian Embassy area of Kabul. Long abandoned by the Russians, the area was dotted with empty Soviet-style buildings.

  • HERAT, 2000

    Women wait in a maternal health clinic near Herat. With a large IDP population on the outskirts, Herat's services are stretched thin.

  • Herat, April 2000

    Health clinic for IDPs near Herat.

  • DROUGHT, 2000

    Afghanistan, like the rest of the region, suffered through a lengthy around the turn of the millennium. This man describes the effects on his once lush orchards.

  • Drought, 2000

    A teenager ploughs a bone-dry field. Afghanistan, like the rest of the region, suffered through a lengthy around the turn of the millennium.

  • Jalalabad, 2000

    A girl attends a secret school in Jalalabad in 2000. Girls were not meant to have access to education under the Taliban regime.

  • Kabul, 2000

    A boy works at a street-side bicycle repair shop.

  • Kabul, October 1996

    Children fight in the ruins of central Kabul, destroyed in internecine fighting of the early 1990's.

  • Jalabad, 16.04.15 Due to overcrowding and some delapidation of the classrooms, many of the classes are held outdoors. This school also included the presence of some boys, mostly children of the female teaching staff. GIRLS EDUCATION STORY HEADER: Several girls schools were visited during this photo-mission in Afghanistan. Unicef supports the schools in a variety of ways, and also uses the environment to promote health incentives and programs, such as the polio eradication program. Other support includes improved water and sanitation, school material supplies for the children, improvement of the school environment.

  • IDPs fetch water to bring to their camp which has no services in Karizak, (near Herat) ,Afghanistan 13. 04.2015 These IDPs photographed are from several different ethnic groups that have moved over the last two years to the outskirts of Heart to an area called Karizak. Some of them are fleeing instability or conflict, but many of them are also economic migrants.

  • A man sells cold treats from a small stall on wheels. Herat, Afghanistan, 2015

  • Herat Afghanistan, boys work washing cars in auto-repair shops near the ruins of an ancient mosque whose remaining minarets are historic landmarks of Herat. Child labour is very common in Afghanistan and is commonly accepted without much stigma. Virtually all of the jobs outside the home are done by boys.

  • A boy who works in an auto repair shop in Herat, takes a moment to comb his hair in the mirror of one of the cars.

  • A boy working as a porter at the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan., Torkum, Afghanistan, 2015

  • Boys that work as rag-pickers photographed in the centre of Kabul. 15.04.2015

  • Children enter a school tent provided by Unicef to IDP,s in a camp on the outskirts of Herat. April 2015

  • Participants at a vaccination program in Torkum, Afghanistan, 2015 A child recieves his polio vaccine while on the bus that is at the Torkham Afghan/Pakistan border crossing East of Jalalabad. This outreach program of vaccination for polio is part of the nation-wide eradication program.

  • Children play in the Hazara dominated neighbourhood of Kabul.

  • Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 18 Apr. 2015 A male nurse works to stabilise a boy who was seriously injured in the bombing of the Afghan bank in Jalalabad. Over 100 people were injured by the blast, including several children. The bombing that targeted lines of government workers waiting outside a bank for their paycheques. The attack was credited to ISIS in Aghanistan.

  • In April 2002, children play in the ruins of the King's Darul Aman palace on the outskirts of Kabul. It had been destroyed in factional fighting of the 1990's.

  • The Palace, Kabul

    In April 2002, children play in the ruins of the King's Darul Aman palace on the outskirts of Kabul. It had been destroyed in factional fighting of the 1990's.

  • KABUL, April 2002

    Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival Nauruz was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • KABUL, 2002

    Children are captivated by a electric dancing doll for sale. Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival Nauruz was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • Herat, 2002

    A girl explores an empty schoolhouse shortly before classes resume. Schooling for girls was prohibited under the Taliban rule.

  • Kabul, 2002

    Haircut by the mosque, Kabul, 2002

  • Herat, April 2002

    Girls crowd into a dusty schoolhouse shortly before classes resume. Schooling for girls was prohibited under the Taliban rule.

  • Kabul, 2002

    Boys register for school in a primarily Hazara district of Kabul. Although boys had access to education under the Taliban, the school system was re-launched in the spring of 2002.

  • Festival, Kabul, spring 2002

    Released from the constraints of the Taliban, the festival was held for the first time in 5 years.

  • KABUL, 2002

    A soldier threatens a child in the Russian Embassy area of Kabul. Long abandoned by the Russians, the area was dotted with empty Soviet-style buildings.

  • HERAT, 2000

    Women wait in a maternal health clinic near Herat. With a large IDP population on the outskirts, Herat's services are stretched thin.

  • Herat, April 2000

    Health clinic for IDPs near Herat.

  • DROUGHT, 2000

    Afghanistan, like the rest of the region, suffered through a lengthy around the turn of the millennium. This man describes the effects on his once lush orchards.

  • Drought, 2000

    A teenager ploughs a bone-dry field. Afghanistan, like the rest of the region, suffered through a lengthy around the turn of the millennium.

  • Jalalabad, 2000

    A girl attends a secret school in Jalalabad in 2000. Girls were not meant to have access to education under the Taliban regime.

  • Kabul, 2000

    A boy works at a street-side bicycle repair shop.

  • Kabul, October 1996

    Children fight in the ruins of central Kabul, destroyed in internecine fighting of the early 1990's.

In the spring of 2015,  worked around Afghanistan on ctract with UNICEF. Everywhere I found scenes of daily life filled with the struggles but also the joys of childhood. Education, health care, play, work (fairly common in Afghanistan and not highly stygmatized) all unfold as in many other developing countries. But behind the scenes of normalcy there lurks the ever-present threat of violence, and the long-term impact of this insecurity on a child's mind can only be surmised. When I looked at this set of pictures from 2015, I decided to go back to my archive of Afghanistan and seek corresponding images. 

I first went to Afghanistan in October 1996 when the Taliban seized control of Kabul. A heady atmosphere bordering on chaos kept the city on edge. There was still fighting on the outskirts and the occaisonal shell would rip into the city. The Taliban had not yet formulated their policy of forbidding photography and one could work without too many limitations. 

My second trip was under the Taliban regime in 2000, a rare opportunity that came through Unicef. It was a complex game of cat-and-mouse with various minders and differing opinions on what could be photographed. Some of the Taliban commanders recognized that the devastating drought needed to documented in order for relief to be sent. Others were difficult and obstructive. 

I returned in 2002, a few monts after the Taliban had been driven out by the U.S. reaction to 9/11. It was springtime and a back-to-school campaign was being launched. Laughter filled the air. Kabul was now a city where nothing had changed, but many things seemed possible.