This is the second time we've seen this little urchin girl. The first time I saw her was near the ruins of the bombed-out Darul-Aman Palace outside Kabul. Totally alone. Filthy. Bereft of everything. Sadly there are so many children like her on the streets of Kabul.
According to UNICEF, there are over 2 million orphans in Afghanistan and twenty-five percent of Afghan children die before reaching their fifth birthday.
An Afghan girl herds her sheep in front of the Darul-Aman Palace outside Kabul. A massive monument built in the 1920s, the palace was left empty for years, before being successively destroyed by fire, turned into a museum, used as a defence ministry and shelled by the Mujahideen after the Soviets left. Now it is a spectacular vacant behemoth.
A woman in a burqa and gloves sells gum on the streets of Kabul. Under Taliban rule women were not allowed to leave their homes without being escorted by a male relative and were required to wear a burqa which covered their bodies from head to toe. Though women have more freedom now than under Taliban rule, some still wear the burqa.
Photo by CNN's Jill Dougherty
In central Afghanistan, in Bamiyan, it's time to harvest the wheat for many farmers and families. Bamiyan is about 120 miles northwest of Kabul and stands in a lush valley that stretches more than 60 miles through central Afghanistan. The valley is on the former Silk Road that once connected China with Central Asia and beyond. The town was once home to two nearly 2,000-year-old Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. They were the two tallest standing Buddhas in the world. In addition to destroying the Buddhas, the Taliban also entered the Kabul Museum wielding sledgehammers and smashing 2,500 priceless artifacts stored there.
TIME Magazine examines women in Afghanistan and how some have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban — and how they fear a Taliban revival. Fawzia Koofi, in photo at right, is one of those women. The former deputy speaker of Parliament, Koofi is very outspoken on women's issues. She is running again for a second term in parliament, but fears that new election rules may make it more difficult to succeed. She fears that outspoken women like her will be sidelined.
A U.S. Marine searches a canal for pieces of a damaged bridge in the Helmand province of Afghanistan earlier this month. The 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group provides logistical support to coalition forces in as part of the International Security Assistance Force.
U.S. soldiers from the 22nd Infantry Regiment Division at Fort Benning, Georgia, boarded a plane to Afghanistan from the U.S. transit center in Manas, Kyrgyzstan, on Friday. U.S. troops resumed full-scale use of the Kyrgyzstan transit center for Afghan war operations following a brief slowdown due to ethnic violence there. The transit center in Manas was opened in 2001, when U.S. military operations in Afghanistan began.
A young Afghan shepherd watches U.S. soldier Trebor Moore on patrol in the Dand district of Kandahar province this week. NATO and the U.S. forces have turned their focus to the Taliban's southern stronghold of Kandahar province for an upcoming offensive.
Lahore's Data Darbar is one of the oldest Sunni Muslim shrines in Pakistan. The remains of a Sufi saint, Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery are kept there and followers believe he had the power to create miracles. The shrine is visited by thousands of worshipers hoping to be blessed.
On July 1, two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the shrine – killing at least 50 and injuring more than 200. The attack at such a revered Sufi shrine shocked and angered residents of Lahore. CNN cameraman Christopher Jackson visited the shrine after the attack. FULL POST