Articles by: Carolyn Coe

Gul Mohammad Jamshadi, left, solders parts to a motherboard. Mohammad Haidary, wearing a hat, works to his left.

Work of Necessity, Work of Choice

At age 11, Saabir Gulmadin began chopping wood to support his family. Now 18, he earns about $1.50 US (120 Afghanis) for every 56 kg of wood he splits. It takes him 2 to 3 hours. “Is the work hard on your body?” I ask. “Ohhh, yes,” he says, without hesitation. “Where does it hurt?” Saabir raises his right hand[Read More…]

January 3, 2020 World
Children in refugee camp

Where Can the Anger Go?

Writing from Kabul, Carolyn Coe describes experiences of frustration, outbreaks of rage and efforts to cope. Kabul–At a busy four-way intersection in the northwestern part of Kabul, traffic is stuck. There is no traffic signal, and cars are threaded through one another like a woven rug. A passenger car is in front of our taxi. The driver, with two children[Read More…]

December 23, 2018 World
Mursal interacts with her teacher Naser during a Friday afternoon Bridge class, a class to encourage soon-to-be Street Kid School graduates to volunteer at the Borderfree Centre. Photo credit: Carolyn Coe

Stepping Stones To Change

  Amrullah has a small frame and a soft voice. He used to have a reputation as a fighter and would fight with the rich kids. He’d get angry because they had nicer clothes. By fighting, he wanted to show his power. But now, at age 11, he believes that fighting is bad. When he sees those same boys, he[Read More…]

December 26, 2017 World
Ghulam Reza makes a toy for himself

Portraits From Kabul

Ghulam Reza often plays at the Borderfree Centre. He’s 5 years, 3 mos. On Saturday, he was filling an empty chips bag with water, tying off the top, and pushing it along, atop a roof tile. Zarghuna and I tried asking if it was a ship or a truck, but he generally ignored us and kept on playing quietly. Near[Read More…]

December 28, 2016 World