No one asked their names

Following the US soldier's shooting spree in Kandahar, the conversation moved to the "backlash" and focused on the accused soldier. The victims became a footnote: just the number 16.

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    In the days following the rogue US soldier’s shooting spree in Kandahar, most of the media, us included, focused on the “backlash” and how it might further strain the relations with the US.

    Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of  energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier – now identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.

    But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 16. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.

    In honoring their memory, I write their names below, and the little we know about them: that nine of them were children, three were women.

    The dead:
    Mohamed Dawood son of  Abdullah
    Khudaydad son of Mohamed Juma
    Nazar Mohamed
    Payendo
    Robeena
    Shatarina daughter of Sultan Mohamed
    Zahra daughter of Abdul Hamid
    Nazia daughter of Dost Mohamed
    Masooma daughter of Mohamed Wazir
    Farida daughter of Mohamed Wazir
    Palwasha daughter of Mohamed Wazir
    Nabia daughter of Mohamed Wazir
    Esmatullah daughter of Mohamed Wazir
    Faizullah son of Mohamed Wazir
    Essa Mohamed son of Mohamed Hussain
    Akhtar Mohamed son of Murrad Ali
     
    The wounded:
    Haji Mohamed Naim son of Haji Sakhawat
    Mohamed Sediq son of Mohamed Naim
    Parween
    Rafiullah
    Zardana
    Zulheja


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