The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Afghanistan: 'Life is more precious than property'

Compiled by Sonia C. Solomonson from coverage by Aloysius Milon Khan and Paul Jeffrey in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Abdul Zabaar, 35, keeps an office on a cotton mat in the shade of a tree in a small park. His workplace is next to the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. He sells envelopes, fills in applications and writes letters for refugees from Afghanistan. He lives in Peshawar with his wife, Hagila, and their two young daughters, Susan and Sanam.

"Even before leaving Kabul, [Afghanistan], the money we got by selling our valuables was already exhausted," he says. "As an educated person I feel guilty sitting idle. Finding no alternatives, I decided to earn at least something to feed my family. But the earnings are so little that I can hardly buy a lunch with it."

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