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Afghanistan: From Ground Zero to Ground Zero

17th November 2003

Masuda in AfghanistanTo many Americans the events of September the 11th prompt a firm response. America was attacked and it responded by hunting down those responsible - the al-Qaeda network. One Afghan-American, though, has a different reaction and explores her feelings in the film Afghanistan: From Ground Zero to Ground Zero.

The film, made by Jon Alpert of New York-based DCTV, follows Masuda Sultan on her personal journey to Kandahar which she left when she was five years old.

A young Afghan-American who lives in New York, Masuda felt the same outrage as other New Yorkers when the Twin Towers were hit. But later her emotions changed when she found out that 19 of her relatives were killed by American bombers when their village was hit in the campaign that followed September 11th.

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One villager challengers her: "Can't they tell the difference between the Taliban and women from 10 metres high (the height of the US helicopters)?" Masuda's next stop is the US base in Kandahar where she asks an army spokesman why her family were targetted.

Inevitably, Masuda didn't get a satisfactory answer, but she came away feeling there was no malicious intent to harm civilians. While the visit has stirred strong childhood memories, it has also given her resolve to help the Afghan people in a concrete way.

Since the film was made, Masuda Sultan has returned to Afghanistan, most recently in September this year where the organisation she now leads, Women for Afghan Women, held a conference to draft an Afghan Women's Bill of Rights, which was presented to President Karzai.

Organisations

OneWorld TV
Interactive video website tackling global issues.
Women for Afghan Women
A collective of Afghan and non-Afghan women from the New York area who are committed to ensuring the human rights of Afghan women.

Follow the links to view similar stories:
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