Afghans reflect on 'Peace Day'
By Aunohita Mojumdar in Kabul
On September 21, Afghanistan marked Peace Day, a UN-sponsored event whereby all fighting parties (Nato, Taliban, and the Afghan military) agreed to cease hostilities for one day.
Al Jazeera asked ordinary Afghans what they believe will bring peace to their war-torn country.
Kandigul Durrani, works as a house cleaner for a foreign family [Mojumdar]
For Kandigul Diljan Durrani, Peace Day in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, was almost like any other day.
She said she was irritated by all the road closures due to the city-wide events held to commemorate the day.
"It took me much longer to come to work. The streets were so crowded, the vehicles could not find a way through and people were fighting with each other. What kind of a peace day is this?"
Durrani is 40 but looks much older. The years of constant warfare and bloodletting have taken their toll as she and her family moved from province to province in search of safety; they were too poor to flee to neighbouring Pakistan.
Her house in the Kart-e-Naw area of Kabul was bombarded by artillery in the fighting which rocked the capital when rival factions fought for power in the mid-1990s.
Her husband was beaten senseless by one of the militias and is today disabled.
His arms hang limply by his side, and he is unable to do any work or earn a living. Durrani became responsible for feeding, clothing and sheltering her family of nine children.
Her oldest boy, wants to go to Iran and find work because there are no jobs for him in Kabul.
"If there was peace, we could both have found work in the same place. It would be easier to get jobs and we would be able to lead good lives," she said.
Asked who she holds responsible, Durrani said: "God is responsible for this."
"And our leaders. The only way peace can return is if the people sit together and talk; surrender their weapons."
Video shop destroyed
Mohammed Zabi works as an office manager [Mojumdar]
Mohammed (Zabi) Zabiullah remembers the good life he once led.
The family shop which filmed weddings and other events in Shar-e-Naw, the centre of the city, made enough money to house, clothe and feed them as well as send the children to school.
When the Taliban came, with their edicts against videos and TV, they destroyed the shop and beat his elder brother who was running the place.
The family fled the country in fear, living as refugees in the city of Peshawar, in Pakistan. They survived on handouts and loans.
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