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At least 13 Afghan civilians killed, including Hashim & Zukoom

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Published on Dec 1, 2013

On the 16th of November, 2013, eight-year-old Hashim s/o Abdul Hamid and nine-year-old Zukoom s/o Abdul Majid were on the streets of Kabul polishing boots when a suicide bombing ( in opposition to the U.S./Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement ) killed them.

Johnny Barber, a peace activist from New York, and Ronya, an independent, freelance journalist from Germany, accompanied the Afghan Peace Volunteers to Hashim's and Zukoom's funeral in an Internally Displaced Persons ( IDP ) camp two days later. We had a conversation with Hashim and Zukoom's classmates, Kahar and Naseem. Hazrat and Gul Jumma were quietly listening.

The daily struggles of ordinary people against elite-driven injustices hovered in the mud-walled room, like a scent.

I was swept up by voices both personal and familial.

War had not become less cruel with time.

Afghans, like Syrians and many others since time immemorial, are smothered in the cross-fire among the Powers, in declarations and Agreements for more war.

Media reported that 'at least 13 people were killed', but as Kahar and Nazeem remembered Hashim and Zukoom, these news flashes lost their de-humanizing hold, and the 13 became the two, and the two became us.

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