People You Meet But Never Meet Again

Herat, Afghanistan for Warchild © Stewart Weir 2002

Street portrait taken in Herat, Afghanistan early January 2002, weeks after the ‘fall’ of the Taliban. The boy and I never spoke, merely smiling at each other as I gestured to take his photograph. He may have only been around 13 years old but his energy was of an older man. He was gracious and far from what some people in the West think of Afghanistan, Afghan’s are wonderful people. Now aged around 23 I often think of him and his wonderful energy he gave me with no words.. just a smile. I wonder what became of him?

Later on the same day I spoke to a shop owner and he spoke of his hopes that Afghanistan “would settle into peace and there would be no more war” but he said even though that was his hope the reality would be that “if the West stayed there could never be a real lasting peace anywhere in the country”. In 10 years his country has not moved one inch forward to peace because of outside influences but then again outside influences have never left Afghanistan alone.

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