He is Bahar — spring in Persian — a word which recalls rebirth and life. It’s a suitable name, given the story of this boy, who lived through the horrors of war even before coming into the world.
His mother, Engila, was left wounded by a rocket explosion, while she was pregnant. She was at home when she heard the sound of it, and instinctively pushed her husband out of the way. He was unharmed, but Englia was injured.
After some days recovering in our Kabul hospital, we transferred her to the Maternity Centre in Panshir, where she could be tracked by our gynaecologist. Little Bihar was born there, with a ruffled up, and very black, head of hair.
Bahar needed to spend his first 20 days of life in intensive neonatal care, due to respiratory problems. As soon as his condition permitted, we brought him to Engila, still recovering in the surgery ward.
It was there, finally, that Bahar could feel the warmth of his mother’s body. Is that why he seems to be smiling?