Hussna’s story from Afghanistan.

“It was late afternoon and fighting seemed to have stopped. That’s why we all decided to go out into the yard.”

These were Golali’s first words when she spoked to me about her daughter, Hussna. “We were outside planning to have dinner, when suddenly the fighting started again, right by our own house. That’s how Hussna was hit by a bullet.”

Hussna and her family come from Baghlan Province, north of Kabul. Her dad drove for seven hours to bring her to our hospital. I look at her and ask myself how she can bear the pain of those wounds. She is so young, just 13 months old.

Although Hussna is safe, the evidence of war remains: the bullet that hit her is still there, stuck in her head. The operation to remove it was too risky. “Isn’t she in a life threatening situation?” I ask our medical staff. “She was,” they tell me, “but not anymore.”

I spoke with Hussna’s dad too. “I hope my daughter will recover. I hope she can go to school and do something useful for our community.” I share these hopes too.

The following day, I walk through the hospital’s garden. The sun is shining in Kabul. Once more I see Golali and Hussna sitting on a bench and I ask them to take this picture: I want to capture this moment of peace. Meanwhile, I can’t stop thinking of the bullet in her head. Is it possible to feel like you have war inside your body? Perhaps, Hussna is the only one who can really answer this question.

Manuela, EMERGENCY’s staff member in Kabul

EMERGENCY provides free, high-quality healthcare to victims of war, poverty and landmines, alongside building hospitals and training local medical staff. Founded in 1994, EMERGENCY has treated over 11 million people in 19 different countries and currently operates in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Italy, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda, and Yemen.

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