SURVIVOR’S STORIES: IN THEIR OWN WORDS
| A Computer Programmer
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“My name is Mansour Ahmad. I was born in Afghanistan
in 1974. I am one of the many young Afghans whose lives are full
of tragedies because of the presence of millions of landmines scattered
throughout the country.
Mines have been planted everywhere—in farms, on public
roads and in gardens and houses. I wondered how may of us would
lose the Almighty’s greatest blessing in such a tragic way,
so I thought it would be good for me to bring awareness among
the children in the area. I told them not to be intrigued by strange
items they see because it could be a mine. Only ten days after
the tragic death of my mother, I found that the evil was not over.
This time it was I who fell victim to the merciless violence of
One afternoon, I noticed some small pieces of iron behind the
wall of our house. They never looked like mines to me. As my mother
had always wanted our yard kept clean, I went to remove the junk.
The moment I picked up one of the pieces, there was a big bang
and then absolute darkness. I was unconscious. In fact, it was
a mine I had picked up. It exploded in my hands, costing me both
hands and my left eye. Even the vision of my right eye was affected.
My grandmother, who saw all this happen, ran to me. She hugged
me with my burning cloths. I was bleeding all over. To her I was
dead. She called to arrange for the funeral. But the gracious
and merciful almighty kept me alive.
I awoke after a night’s unconsciousness. What happened
to me? WHY CAN’T I SEE? WHERE ARE MY HANDS? WHY IS IT SO
DARK? I suddenly asked all these questions but it was too late.
What about my dreams, ambitions and hopes? I wanted to become
a doctor. I wanted to treat poor people, vulnerable people. I
wanted to serve my country. Instead, my family had to flee the
war and migrated to Pakistan.
For me this was the end. I spent most of the time in isolation.
However, my family provided me great support. They arranged for
my medical treatment and gradually I got back the vision in my
right eye. I became even more determined and managed to finish
my secondary education. I am proud to be one of the most productive
members of society today..”