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Displaced Afghan families suffer in makeshift camps, hoping to live in peace


"My utmost desire in my life is to see peace and to live in peace. This is my dream and what I am praying for," said an Afghan displaced woman whose house has been destroyed by the ongoing war in the country.

Bibi Maryam, a displaced woman in Mazar-i-Sharif city, the capital of Afghanistan's northern Balkh province, sits in front of her tent in a makeshift camp with two kids. Her house has been destroyed by the ongoing war in the country.

The 37-year-old woman, who seems much older than her real age, said there had been gunfire almost every day, and she had witnessed the killing of innocent people and destruction of houses.

"My utmost desire in my life is to see peace and to live in peace. This is my dream and what I am praying for. If peace returns I would return to my village and resume my normal life," Maryam told Xinhua.

Maryam denounced the ongoing war in Afghanistan as the source of all sufferings of the ordinary Afghans and lamented that the war has destroyed their houses, rendered many homeless and left countless children orphaned.

"The war has turned to ash our house, and I am living along with my nephews whose father has gone missing," Maryam murmured.

Living in a tent in the makeshift camp outside Mazar-i-Sharif where the temperature is usually above 45 degrees Celsius in summer, she had no cooler or fan available.

"We are living on charity and sometimes begging and asking for alms to find food and water. Begging is a shameful act but we have no choice," she said.

Maryam said there are casualties from both the Afghan security forces and the Taliban in the ongoing fighting every day.

"I am praying for returning peace. I am searching for peace and looking forward to seeing the return of lasting peace in Chamtal district and across Afghanistan to resume peaceful life free of fear."

Afghanistan has been the scene of escalating fighting since the start of the U.S.-led forces pullout from the country in early May. Since May, the Taliban outfit has intensified activities and reportedly has captured some 200 districts including four in the northern Balkh province.

The escalating fighting has left many families homeless, with majority of them having settled in the makeshift camps in and outside Balkh provincial capital Mazar-i-Sharif over the past months.

"Living is very difficult in both the villages and inside the makeshift camps. In the villages people are caught in crossfire and in the makeshift camps we don't have even the basic necessities of living, and we Afghans have been suffering since our childhood," elder of the camp Hajji Faiz Mohammad lamented in talks with Xinhua.

"We are being killed. We are deprived of our rights. Our children can't go to school. Nobody seems to pay attention to our sufferings," Mohammad complained.

Sayed Masoud Qadiri, chief of the Refugees and Repatriation Department in Mazar-i-Sharif, said surveys are being made on the problems of the people living in the makeshifts.

Photo taken on July 31, 2021 shows a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan.

Photo taken on July 31, 2021 shows a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan. 

 

Photo taken on July 31, 2021 shows displaced people at a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan.

Photo taken on July 31, 2021 shows displaced people at a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan.

A displaced Afghan child is seen at a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan, July 31, 2021.

A displaced Afghan child is seen at a makeshift camp site in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital of Balkh province, Afghanistan, July 31, 2021. 

Published : August 02, 2021

By : xinhua