By Anna Badkhen

To many american citizens, 2011 used to be the make-or-break yr in Afghanistan, a yr in which NATO someway was once presupposed to pave the way in which for American troops to finish what had turn into, a decade after the invasion, the longest overseas struggle in U.S. background. To such a lot Afghans, in whose land the U.S. used to be struggling with the struggle, 2011 was once a 12 months of renewed violence and of renewed fatalism. yet eventually, it used to be a great deal a yr like many sooner than it and possibly many to come back: Of celebrations and toil, of youngsters born and death, a yr of drought and henna events, of complication and pleasure, of desolation and wonder, of unnamable pain and incorrigible dignity. one other yr of life.

“If you can’t comprehend a rustic simply from taking a look at the towns, you actually can’t comprehend a warfare simply from analyzing concerning the battles. A decade after the autumn of the Taliban, because the Afghan battle unfold alarmingly from the south and the east of the rustic into what had hitherto been the quite peaceable provinces of Northern Afghanistan, Anna Badkhen spent a 12 months embedded now not with NATO forces yet with the agricultural inhabitants of the customarily neglected north. She did this at huge own hazard, touring by myself to villages and towns to carry a narrative that has not often been informed via Western journalists.”
--Peter Bergen, writer of The Longest conflict, in his preface to Afghanistan by way of Donkey.

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Extra info for Afghanistan by Donkey: One Year in a War Zone

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Mostly, they are simply overwhelmed. Each day at dawn in Andkhoi, a colonial town of potholed boulevards that run star-like from the whitewashed central mosque, Lieutenant Colonel Sadiq Bigzada dispatches a police car with nine officers to the edge of what the Faryabis call “the forest”—one of the country’s few juniper thickets that somehow have survived the massive deforestation of Afghanistan during the last three decades, a byproduct of conflict. The grove sprawls immediately to the west of the province’s main highway, a two-lane tarmac that connects Andkhoi and the regional capital, Maimana.

I asked my host. A flotilla of perfectly round cumuli sailed over the courtyard like gun smoke. To our north, a duet of military helicopters hovered above the city. “Five years ago,” he said. ” 24 ANNA BADKHEN • AFGHANISTAN BY DONKEY • WINTER He thought about it. “Nothing has happened so far,” he said. N. compound. , out of concern for his safety: In today’s Mazar-e-Sharif, friendship with a Western journalist may be a hazard. After I heard about the attack I telephoned him; his cousin picked up and said A.

But only 124,661 disabled receive government support: A fraction, government officials admit. A MACABRE PANOPLY of war mementos unfurls around the step where Lojward sits in the stifling morning shade. To the west rises a defunct military base that feuding local warlords shelled into rubble two decades ago. To the north, Mazar-e-Sharif ’s fabled white pigeons cartwheel through the carcass of an oil factory warehouse that Soviet planes had bombed some years prior. Lojward’s prosthesis is a ghastly fit in this disfigured landscape.

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