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Video: Civilians Caught in Northern Afghanistan Crossfire Make the Treacherous Escape South After Taliban Takeover

Afghan man carries child fleeing advancing Taliban forces (Credit: Jake Simkin)

Hollie McKay’s Video Dispatches from Afghanistan

 

“Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire

What would you do if rockets barraged your home and you had nowhere to hide?

What would you take if you only had ten seconds to decide?

Where would you go if every street you turned onto was filled with fighters?

Who would you save if all your children were buried beneath the rubble and crying?

What would you say to those broken and bleeding, widowed and screaming, sleeping on the dust beneath the scorching sunlight, not knowing if those they loved most in the world were dead or alive?

What would you want someone to say if that was you who had raced deep into the darkness not for gold, for a second chance? With nothing left but a graveyard of memories?

Questions most of us will never have to ask ourselves. Questions many each day have no choice but to ask themselves.

Hundreds run barefoot through the hills, yet they survive because human life still means something. They survive because there is still hope. There is something better. There is a light. Surely, there is a light. A life where one can sleep soundly and know they won’t be awoken by rockets cracking the windows.

How willing would you be to rebuild your life over and over again, knowing each time everything you built with your raw, calloused hands could be taken from you?

Afghans survive because they have to, and they survive because they want to.

How do you measure resilience?

Could we ever measure our own resilience?

Portraits of those fleeing courtesy @jakesimkinphotos.

Afghan man carries child fleeing advancing Taliban forces (Credit: Jake Simkin)

 

(Credit: Jake Simkin)
(Credit: Jake Simkin)
(Credit: Jake Simkin)