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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 September 2005, 11:34 GMT 12:34 UK
My Day in Afghanistan: Orphanage head
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Afghanistan coverage on 13 September, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Here you can read more from Seema Ghani, who runs an orphanage in Kabul and describes life for the children there.


I was born and raised in Afghanistan and I left during the communist regime in 1990. Because of problems that my family had we decided to emigrate to the UK.

Seema Ghani and children at Khorasan orphanage
Seema describes wearing burka as "seeing the world from behind bars"
Things got worse after the communist regime, during the reign of the mujahideen.

I still meet people who are devastated, traumatised by things that happened to them during that time. I suppose I was one of the lucky ones who never had to see that, although I suppose I felt it.

I returned in 2002 and now run an orphanage called Khorasan, which means "land of the sun".

The orphanage is home to 16 children, from three and a half to 17 years old, who all go to school in the daytime.

Fragile

When the kids are ill, I'll sleep next to them or put them in my bed next to me.

MORE AFGHAN DAILY LIVES

Some of the children are particularly fragile.

One, who is now recovering, saw her father being killed in front of her eyes before her mother committed suicide because her uncle wanted to marry her.

With cultural standards here she wouldn't have had a say, so she killed herself. So all this happened to this little girl, who was four years old, in the space of a month.

She was traumatised for years. I had to hold her when she woke up in the middle of the night crying and talk to her until she fell back to sleep.

When I was in London I never lost hope of returning to Afghanistan, I knew my heart was still there.

I feel like I owe a lot to my country and my people.



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