Reference : V-P-AF-E-01049
Date : 26/10/2007
Country/Region : AFGHANISTAN
Caption : Kabul, ICRC limb-fitting centre. Young victim of mine attends a physiotherapy with his mother..
Photographer : KOKIC, Marko
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Tenth anniversary of the Ottawa Convention: Media resources on landmines in Afghanistan, 16.11.07:

Mashal Mohamad

Nine-year-old Mashal attends the ICRC orthopaedic centre in Kabul for physiotherapy, three years after losing his right leg in a mine accident. His mother, Zia, talks on his behalf.

"Mashal was only six years old when he lost his leg. We had fled to Kunduz province because of the fighting, and had just returned home to Kabul. Mashal was playing near the well in our compound when there was an explosion. I saw it happen. Mashal screamed once, and then was quiet. His right leg was completely blown off.

We were all in a state of shock. We got Mashal to the hospital and he was there for a couple of months. He also had severe injuries to his abdomen and hand. On top of that, he got appendicitis and needed surgery.

The accident changed Mashal. He is still disturbed. Sometimes he has terrible temper tantrums, and at other times, he doesn't speak at all. It is very stressful.

Three months after leaving the hospital Mashal received his first prosthesis from the ICRC orthopaedic centre. At first, it was very difficult for him to learn to walk. Since then he has had three prostheses and he now manages to move around quite easily. He has even learned to ride a bicycle.
Mashal goes to school and he is a very eager student. He is very intelligent, more so than any of his six brothers and sisters. He complains though that the school is too far away, and he gets a pain in his leg walking all that distance.

I often feel frustrated that I can't offer Mashal what he wants, such as a bicycle or even new clothes. I have six other children to provide for. My husband works as a cleaner in the parliament. Our financial situation is very difficult.

My biggest wish is for Mashal to be able to finish his education, not to be illiterate and not to end up working as a cleaner. He wants to be a doctor.

I'm still afraid of landmines. Of course none of us will ever be able to forget what happened to Mashal, and there will also be fear of the same thing happening to someone else in the family. This will affect our lives forever."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4992x3328
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour