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Nov 2013 back issue
by Iva Zimova
As temperatures exceed 45°C, the urge is to sit in the shade and wait for the evening when temperatures start to drop.
But there's no time. The harvest season has begun and there is much to do: bread must be baked, buildings must be
built, heads need to be shaved, water must be collected and carpets washed. Brick factories are running at full
capacity and flourmills churn out flour. Despite the intense heat, cotton has to be packaged and dispatched to waiting
customers. Goats and sheep have to be slaughtered and meat has to be cut. Carpets need weaving and chickpeas
must be roasted.
Here, in northern Afghanistan, there is no electricity or running water, houses are made of mud, water is pumped from
wells and the roads are paved with rocks which are manually broken with sledgehammers. The land is as harsh as the
lives of the people who depend on it.
A man carries a bundle of plastic hose used to irrigate a pistachio orchard.
A man building a chicken shed empties his wheelbarrow, disturbing a hen while amusing his grand-daughter.
A man building trenches for flood protection; part of a 'cash for work' scheme, stands on a hillside with a pick axe over
A shepherd and his herd of cows on a hillside.
A man is hidden by the bundle of wheat he carries on his back.
A boy throwing roasted chickpeas to the corner of the room.
A barber shaves a customer's head on the side of a road in Mazar-e-Sharif.
A woman carries dough for naan (flat-bread).
A young girl watches on as men use their feet to squeeze a carpet that they washed on the street.
A boy riding a donkey drives cattle in a circle to thresh grain.
A man harvesting wheat in Amrak.
A woman weaves a carpet.
A labourer uses a sledgehammer to break a large rock into pieces during the construction of a road that connects the
villages of Shakardara and Kujara.
Two men working in a flourmill.
A man rides a motorbike next to a herd of sheep and goats.
A group of women and children collect water from a well beside the road on the way to Marghzar from Zare.
A butcher cuts peace of goat in a shop on the street of Mazar-e Sharif.
An elderly man reads the Quran.
Labourers load a truck with bricks at a factory on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif.