A Long-Distance Friendship

Ghotair sits in her dingy hut in Kandahar, nursing one of her four children and slapping another who is wailing for attention on the mud floor. Orphaned at an early age, Ghotair was married to a cousin because, in war-torn Afghanistan in the early 1990s, no girl was safe unwed. At 24, Ghotair has been married 12 years and her husband, a pickup-truck driver—when he finds work—can barely support the family. Asked to describe her life, Ghotair smiles, but her answer is somber: "Finding bread to eat during the day, sleeping at night and looking for bread again in the...

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