afghanistan blog 09/03 | andrea bruce


Noburja, Afghanistan


The balcony overlooks an orchard, soon to be harvested, 20 miles down a dirt road east of Kabul. From Abdul Zohar’s daily view, he can see the workers change their job with the seasons. The flies don’t bother him and weather is still hot, so the cement under him is cool and refreshing. 


For 10 years he has had severe brain damage left from an epileptic seizure.  He is now 22, and says he wants to get married.


His caretaker is his older brother, Yasim, who also provides for his mother, his unmarried sister, his wife and six children by working two jobs and living sparsely on a village farm.


“He will die at any time,” Yasim said while shifting through a pile of medical records and brain scans on the floor. “He needs to go to Germany, there are no surgeons like this here in Afghanistan. But how can we afford that?”


For the many extreme cases like this in Afghanistan, most hospitals won’t let him through their doors. They know there is nothing they can do. 

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