The Story of Zia Gul (mother)

Victims’ Names: Nazar Mohammad, Feda Mohammad, Amir Mohammad and Parwiz
Date of Incident: 1990-2009
Place of Incident: Kabul, Ghazni and Logar Provinces

My name is Ziagul. I am originally from the Disctrict of Qarghai in the Province of Laghman but am currently living in Golai Matab Qala of District 13 in Kabul. I lost four sons to war. Feda Mohammad was killed in Kabul, Amir Mohammad was killed in Logar Province, Parwiz was killed in Qarabagh District of Ghazni Province, and Nazar Mohammad was only 15 years old when he was killed in Pul-e-Mohmood Khan area of Kabul.
It was on a Friday during Dr. Najibullah’s reign that I lost my eldest son Feda Mohammad. He had gone to attend a relative’s wedding. On his way, a few young men had taken him to Kabul river and killed him there. I still do not know why they killed him. My other son, Amir Mohammad had completed his service with the artillery brigade of the Afghan Army during the Communist Regime before joining the Afghan National Army again and being sent to the Province of Logar. One day, when Amir visitsed a cucumber farms with some friends, a Taliban rocket hits the farm and killed him. It was on the second day of my bother-in-law’s funeral that they delivered his body to us. He was known for his tall and handsome appearance. His legs were hanging from the coffin.
Nazar Mohammad was still a child when he was killed. He used to sell cigarettes in Puli Mahmmod Khan area during Mujahedeen’s rule when a rocket hit him and his tiny kiosk. Their death shattered me. I lost part of my memory and do not remember my Parwiz’s death. I lost everything and became dependent on my daughter’s family. At times, it gets too difficult to bear their insults but despite having my own house, I live with them so I can at least ask them for something to eat when hungry. The only thing keeping me alive is my faith and my trust in God’s justice.
I worked with the Afghanistan Military School for 24 years to make a living. When I retired two years ago and claimed my pension, I was refused to be given any. I followed up with the Ministry of Defence more than ten times to solve the issue but no one helped. I begged the Human Resources Director to process my pension and reminded him of how despite working with integrity and honesty, I was facing so many challenges. Even after losing my sons, I didn’t give up working there but they denied any record of my work. After a few months of my persistent struggle, they paid only part of my monthly pension. If they deny paying my pension again, I will have nothing to eat. I do not know whom to go to and whom to ask for help. I served this country my entire life and lost all my sons defending this country but who is going to understand my pain and my losses. Who is responsible for my sons’ lives? Who is going to apologize for their deaths? Why is it so difficult to live in and serve this country?
I added my sons’ belongings to the Memory Box Project to keep their memory alive and let others know about the misery that war can bring upon us. I hope anyone who visits the Memory Box Museum always remembers that war cannot be uglier than losing four young sons and at the end a mother having to live and suffer on her own.

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