The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Afghan refugees work to survive

Places of refuge are already overcrowded

Ajmal Gul, 14, haltingly searches for the right words to express himself in English. Every evening between 8 and 9, he attends school. "I learn English and the local language, Urdu," he says. The rest of the day — for 12 hours — he works as a carpet weaver, as do his older brothers and sisters. The children have to work to help the family survive.

Ajmal, an Afghan refugee, lives in Quetta, Pakistan, close to the border with Afghanistan. His mother fled with her children shortly after the Taliban killed her husband. The Gul family has lived in a refugee camp for four years.

The Guls belong to the Farsi-speaking Hazara people, who make up 27 percent of the 22 million strong Afghan population.

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February issue


Embracing diversity