Danger for the Taliban’s Favorite Victims

As the Taliban fights to make a comeback in Afghanistan, no group is in more danger than the Hazaras. The Taliban’s favorite victims, hundreds of Hazara families froze to death while fleeing their villages during winter attacks by the Taliban.

Hazaras work in a candy factory in Kabul, 2006

Farmers work in front of empty Buddha niches where the Taliban destroyed the Buddhas that had stood for over a thousand years in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2002

During its reign, the Taliban wreaked destruction and on as many Hazara communities as they could. Scores of Hazara villages were totally destroyed and their people killed or left to search for shelter from the harsh environment of the Hindu Kush Mountains.

Bamiyan, Afghanistan, 2006

Persecuted for centuries, the Hazaras, Shiite Muslims, and protectors of the Buddhist treasures in Bamiyan for a thousand years, have been persecuted, tortured, and slaughtered, but the ravages of the Taliban are only one chapter in the long history of discrimination and abuse.

Hazara Girl, Kabul, 2002

A local official commented that their history has been characterized by “blood and smoke.” He said that the pain is still in his heart because of the thousands that were slaughtered or died trying to escape.

Hazara School Boys, Bamiyan, 2002

Although most Hazaras live in central Afghanistan, the land they refer to as Hazarajat, the Hazaras who migrated to Kabul looking for work make up a large underclass, which takes jobs that other groups refuse – as bearers, street sweepers and other common laborers, the jobs that are referred to as “Hazara occupations.” They are seen and insulted as “donkeys.”

Hazara man pulling cart past a burning house, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1985

Bamiyan, Afghanistan. 2007

His family is poor, his clothes used. But 15-year-old Ali Aqa isn’t deterred: He plans to be a lawyer. Childhood memories include Taliban occupation of his village in Bamiyan. “They burned everything, even my school,” he says. “I pray to God no regime comes like that again.

This fascinating and resilient people hopes to have a place at the table of Afghanistan’s government, but whatever happens in the central government in Kabul, these brave and independent people will continue to struggle for survival and dignity.

Source: http://stevemccurry.wordpress.com

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4 Comments

  1. I want to ask the social situation today Hazara tribe.
    Is up to this moment, Hazaras are still not welcome in Afghanistan? What is the basic random Hazaras are not welcome in Afghanistan? Is it Because the people Hazaras are Shiite Muslims?
    Or is there something else?
    I ask this because I plan to write a thesis about the Hazaras.
    Thank You … 🙂

  2. I want to ask the social situation Hazara tribe today.
    Is up to this moment, Hazaras are still not welcome in Afghanistan? What is the basic random Hazaras are not welcome in Afghanistan? Is it because the people Hazaras are Shiite Muslims?
    Or is there something else?
    I ask this because I plan to write a thesis about the Hazaras.
    Thank You …

  3. We can not forget about what happend to us,but we can change our life in future the must thing that we realy need it is our grupe and our generation have to be knowledge able people

  4. Hazara has suffered alot, for more than two century, It is only about the taliban era, but before it Hazara has suffer alot. Specially about the time of Abdul Rahman(Laeen). But somehow,
    I am a Hazara & I fell proud of it,
    “Proud to be Hazara”

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