Khoraman, 41, is a single mother and widow from Du Layna, a district in Afghanistan’s central Ghor province.
Every year the families have to leave. Ghor is impoverished, isolated and largely ungoverned. Militants and criminal gangs wage war against government forces from mountain hideouts. They also fight each other, their loyalties shifting as often as the seasons. Families flee in the middle of the night. Women wrapped in black and purple shawls gather their children and head west to Herat.
Five years ago, Kheraaman was one such woman. Her husband killed, she fled her mountain home with three children in tow. She is far from alone. More than 50,000 people have been forced to
leave Ghor in the past five years.
To survive, she makes bricks, 50 to 100 every day, which she sells for a pittance. Because it is piecework, paid by the number of bricks she makes, it is a family effort. An extra pair of hands helps scratch out a meagre wage, even if those hands belong to her child.“I have two daughters and a son,” Khoraman says. “Since I arrived in Herat I have made thesebricks. Both my daughters and son help me.”
Herat, May 2017