Afghanistan: It Has Simply Become Normal

What is there beyond the window? Shah Wali is well aware, but he still carries on.

In one of the few moments of rest at the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims in Laskar-Gah, Shah Wali watches TV news about his country, Afghanistan. He listens to it, silent and serious.

Shah Wali is 42 years old. He is one of the Afghan surgeons who has been working in this hospital for a very long time. He completed his training and his specialisation here.

His eyes are tired, but Shah Wali is determined and focused in the operating room. When he visits patients in the hospital wards, I can see that he looks after them carefully.  He doesn’t hesitate to give an encouraging pat to one of the younger patients and, passing by the bed of a man whose leg he had to amputate, smiles and shakes his hand.

Cautiously, I ask him what he thinks of the war. “I have no idea” he replies with evident sadness. “Sometimes I’m under the impression that things have slightly improved compared to two years ago. Then I realise that this will most likely only be a break. Our hospital beds are full every day. And nobody knows why we keep fighting this war. It has simply become normal”.

From the EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah

EMERGENCY Surgical Centre for War Victims in Lashkar-Gah, Afghanistan, is funded by European Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid Operations – ECHO 

Photo Credits: Giulio Piscitelli


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