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Travel

Life in Afghanistan

Photos by Jason Florio
December 1, 2001, 12:00am

PHOTOS BY JASON FLORIO

The picture of the cat is outlawed by the Taliban. All photography and illustrations of living beings are banned. The Taliban believe such pictures detract from concentration on God and create false idols.

I found these nomads camped in the desert en route to the Helmund River (about a 26-day walk). The severe drought had killed most of their animals and they believed getting to the river would save them and the few animals they had left. I crossed the river by truck the next day. It was dry.

A rich businessman from Heart performs “zakit” (charity). In Islam you are supposed to give two and a half percent of your profits away each year. He gave away about 1000 dollars to these refugees.

A transit camp near Heart. Approximately 3.5 million Afghans became refugees during the past 20 years of conflict. This camp is for Afghan refugees repatriated from Iran. The girls here had never been to their own country before.