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“I’m just a girl”

“I cannot read or write and I do not know anything about war. I’m just a girl.

We are nomads. We move with tents and sheep from one side of the country to another and we live on that.

Sabrai in her bed

We were setting up the tent in a place that we actually already knew. We had already been there with the sheep the year before and the year before that.
I remember there was a flowerbed, and there was a tree near the flowers that I did not remember seeing before. It’s Spring. It’s all beautiful now… I walked toward the tree, and as I walked I heard the explosion. When I opened my eyes, I saw that I no longer had a leg.

Sabrai in her bed, in the EMERGENCY's hospital in Kabul

We were in the middle of the mountains. There was nothing nearby… Just the mountains where we graze; the hospital is not needed. But I needed it. I did not have a leg.

Then my brothers took two pieces of wood, placed them on their shoulders and laid me up there, and walked for hours, for three hours through the mountains, to take me to the hospital.

I’m just a girl, and now I’m also a burden for my family. But I think I’m lucky. I could be dead now, but I’m just missing a few fingers and a leg.

Sabrai while tries to lear to walk without her leg

— Sabrai, 16 years old, from EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre for War Victims in Kabul

Sabrai’s story, along with those from other inpatients form our Surgical Centre in Kabul have been collected and documented by journalist Francesca Mannocchi and photographer Alessio Romenzi.