We are Diminished

I had just finished typing up the preceding blog entry, when friend Rachel set me the following link:

http://skateistan.org/blog/tragic-loss

Yesterday, friend Zok sent me the initial reports, which I kind of blew off, because I was just too busy.  I am now sorry I did that.  

You see, Zok pointed out that the casualties of the latest Taliban/Haqqani/Subhuman Filth attack were kids in the ISAF HQ area, and I just didn’t process that, completely.

When I saw the Skatestan article, my heart sunk out of the bottom of my chest.  A growing ball of ice has replaced it.  I knew every one of these kids, and so did everyone with me.  

Nawab (not my co-worker Nawab) decided back in 2009, that he was my bodyguard and protector.  I bought one bracelet from him, but he probably gave me a dozen since then.  See, I am pretty sure he had a crush on another co-worker of mine, whose name I do not have permission to share.  And this person was determined to find a way to get Nawab to come to the US, where she could raise him.  

Mohammed was a terrific kid; his Texas Longhorns cap was recognizable from a distance, and his favorite subject in school was mathematics.  Really sharp kid and a hustler.  He was always super polite, especially to the women who I worked with.  Out of all the kids there, I thought he had the best chance of making it.

Khorshid was special.  She could and would melt my heart with a look and a smile.  Out of all the kids there, I would avoid giving money or buying their stuff, because I thought it was a bad idea to encourage them, especially in that place.  But I bought several blankets and a hat from her, because I just couldn’t resist. Her little sister, Parwana was cute as a button and shy.

I take no joy from being right about why we should not have encouraged their presence there. Friend Rachel is bereft, Zok is angry and I am both. I have to admit to feeling nearly equal amounts of sadness and hatred right now.  Sadness for these wonderful children’s lives being taken from them and hatred toward the lowlifes who did this, and want Afghanistan to return to the abyss of Taliban domination.  

My heart is broken…. 

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About hotmilkforbreakfast

I am a researcher, a writer, a former soldier, an academic and a lifelong learner. All text and pictures are copyrighted and are not to be used without express permission of the author.
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13 Responses to We are Diminished

  1. Pingback: We are Diminished | hotmilkforbreakfast

  2. Zok says:

    I saw Mohammed when I was down there the last time. He was kickin’ ass and was gonna be my bodyguard that day.

    • You know, I keep remembering stories about those kids. One of my favorites involves Mohammad Eeza and his brother: One day back in 2010, Don, another guy I worked with who is from Texas asked “where is the little kid with the Texas Longhorn cap?” when we came by. The kid we asked told us that Mohammed was in school, and that he was his brother. The next day, we came back at around the same time, and Mohammed’s little brother was wearing the Texas Longhorns cap. I learned then about the importance of brand recognition. Mohammed couldn’t make it in the mornings, but he made sure to send the Texas Longhorns cap with his brother so at least “the kid with the Texas Longhorns cap” would be there.

  3. aswin79 says:

    “Like” is probably a wrong emotional response to this blog entry, but I hope you guys know where I am coming from, my heart goes out to the family of those precious lives now lost. This tragedy transcends any emotion response one could possibly express, but grief is its common denominatoe. The potential for human life lies in preserving others to live. Here’s to all those lives that are still fighting to live, and your work that helps to give voice to those fighting for a chance.

    • aswin79 says:

      In my second line, I meant “denominator,” sometimes smartphones need smart owners!

    • Zok just sent me an e-mail, where he spelled out what I already suspected; the reason why the bomber got all the kids at once, is because they had figured out he was up to no good, and they were in the process of defending their territory and “their” people. Otherwise, the area there is too wide open to get any of them, much less all of the children at once.

  4. kunstkitchen says:

    It is hard to read this story. I heard about it from an outside news source and saw photos. Life is so fragile. So sad.

  5. thepoliblog says:

    You have shown us the human tragedies in what would otherwise have been an abstract tragedy.

    • Unfortunately, I think what I have to say is just not sufficient. Friend Rachel told me stories last night about how she bought a scarf from Mohammed Eeza, and he thought she was trying to rip him off because she gave him five Euros instead of five Dollars. She also told me about having her pocket picked by one of the smaller children for gum. I am fearful for what will happen to the children of Afghanistan after 2014, frankly.

  6. M. Smith says:

    My heart breaks for you guys and the kids’ families. I hope your friends at Skateistan double down on perfecting their skills and carry on in memory of their buddies.

  7. Pingback: The Girls of Skateistan | hotmilkforbreakfast

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