April 21, 2016

I am Grateful that You are Safe.

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My friend just shared a picture in our group chat on Facebook.

It was taken about 200 metres from his home. In the forefront it shows a bloodied and anguished man being carried by another.

As you look at the picture, on the ground to the left lies the body of what appears to be a child. On the ground to the right is a body of a youth or possibly slight-framed man.

There are three uniformed soldiers in the background, two with what look like semi-automatic rifles. In the more distant background there is a man running. There are fragments strewn on the ground and behind a fence on the left-hand side, a fire burns and black smoke billows.

You see my friend is from Kabul, Afghanistan. And he has informed me that yesterday there was an explosion that killed 38 people and seriously injured 380. His family called him to update him.

Herein lies an example of why a phone and phone credit are so valuable.

He told us that the explosion took place near a big market where everyone goes in the morning to buy fresh milk and bread. It was a market that he visited frequently. Sadly his friend was among the casualties.

It is hard to know what to say in this situation because the concept of war and terror is an abstract one for those of us who have never lived through it. I have told him that I hope never to be able to comprehend it, and I believe that he understands why.

My friend and his family are safe today. Although safety is a relative concept.

In this instance, I am comparing having possibly been in a bombing in your home neighbourhood versus being held in a detention centre in Europe where human rights are allegedly being violated.

I wonder if this latest attack in Afghanistan will make the rule-makers reconsider their stance on Afghan people seeking asylum? And, I shake my head in disbelief that we live in a world where people are safer in detention centres than their home towns.

But most of all I am grateful that my friend and his family made the arduous journey to find “safety” and I send my love to all those who are grieving today.

May peace and humanity reign again soon.

Author: Vanessa Marjoribanks

Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Image: Bob Bob/Flickr

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