One Step Beyond – Afghanistan – People – Abdul Aziz
My name is Abdul Aziz. My father's name is Noor Agha. I'm twenty-five years old. I'm from the Khanabad district in the province of Kunduz. I was born in Takhar and lived in the village called Achtal, but I came to Kunduz due to tribal conflicts in Takhar. I'm a member of the Kujer tribe. The Persian tribe in Takhar didn't allow us to stay there, so we came to Kunduz and are now living in the Sarishayi refugee camp. My language is Dari, but I can also speak a bit of Farsi. My native tongue is Bujiel, but the inhabitants of Khanabad speak Farsi. We're not allowed to live together with them.
Six months ago I stepped on the mine. On that night, I was working in the Arjal Mountains. With me were my two brothers and two shepherds. The mine was buried there. That evening, we had transported the sheep close to Khanabad by car.
I stepped on the mine that night, destroying my foot.
It was a mountainous area with some pistachio trees. It was a former battlefield. No one goes there to collect the nuts. No one goes there because there are mines.
But as we were strangers, we were unfamiliar with the area. We took that path; my brother was killed, and my foot was destroyed by the explosion of the mine.
There were several mines there.
Fate had it that I stepped on one of them. I didn't know that there were mines there because I didn't know the area, and it was dark. My younger brother flew into the air and landed on the ground; he was dead on the spot. My brother was eight years old. My foot was destroyed and it is still painful, and you can still see the wounds.
But my brother was killed by the mine.
The mine killed three sheep and injured the rest. They were stolen by Uzbeks.
But my foot was destroyed by a mine. I stepped on the mine with my foot. And my brother was killed by the mine's shrapnel, which hit his chest.
Both shepherds were unharmed, but my brother was killed instantly by the shrapnel, and my foot was shattered.
After I stepped on the mine, my other brother and the two shepherds helped me and took me to a hospital in Kunduz.