An Afghan refugee girl living in Pakistan
In 2007 I entered Pakistan during Musharraf’s emergency rule. A tumultuous time. Not just for me though. As I soon discovered a refugee camp next to the Afghanistan border.
Facts about Afghan refugees in Pakistan:
The story behind this photograph
I had just visited the Khyber Pass one day before it was permanently closed due to dangerous kidnappings and killings. I had accomplished a personal goal on my overland journey. It also led me to several depleted and abandoned Afghan refugee camps.
Several camps were no more than fields of strewn garbage and crumbling walls. Everything from doors, to roofs to flooring had been taken as the camps were closed.
One camp I found was still operational. It was a mud city where I met some of the most friendly people on my journey. Men & children smiled widely as I walked through their torn lives photographing what at the time were personal keepsakes.
I came across a group of girls working. Gathering clothes and chickens in the late afternoon.
This particular girl had dark hair tinted auburn and she simply stared at me. While some of her friends laughed as they worked, she did not.
This photograph is by no means perfect. It is badly cropped. It’s even slightly blurred due to the low light at the time. But, it’s an image I will not forget.
This photograph was of a child with a painful past. A past declared by others doing. And now she’s living a life no child should.
She will grow up without having a regular childhood. Missing the years that would have given the world one of humankind’s most precious traits. The innocent smile of a child.
Discover more great travel photographs
This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture
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