The Soviet-Afghan War and its effect on civilians

The Coming War by: Justin

The night was dark, and wind filled the cold winter sky. Alim, a young boy at the age of 16, was trekking outside to find more firewood for his family. He dared not travel far from his home though, for there were reports of many conflicts around his home. Alim knew, of course, that these were only because of the war. Russian soldiers began to invade Afghanistan earlier that year, causing huge fights between the people of Afghanistan and the Russian soldiers. Alim shook his head and shuddered, trying to forget about it. After a few minutes of searching, he found a pile of sticks and small logs. Alim wondered how they got there, but soon found the answer when he discovered a fallen tree not too far away. He picked up as many as he could and started to walk back home. Alim was struggling to keep all of the wood in his arms, and his breathing got heavier trying to support their weight. Carrying the load of wood back home was going to be a problem for Alim, for he was not the strongest nor the biggest person in the world. Standing at only 5’4, he was surprised that he was able to pick the wood up at all. Alim soon began to see his breath turn to mist as he got closer to home. He could see his house now, on the horizon. He wasn’t too far away from it now. After a few more steps, Alim reached his house, dropping all of the wood that he carries outside of the front door. He flopped down on the ground, trying to catch his breath. As hey lay still on the ground, he looked up at the stars in the night sky, and wished that this war would all be over soon. BANG! Alim jumped as he heard the sound of his front door slamming open.

“Amil, what is all of this ruckus?!” Amils father stood menacingly at the doorway.

“Sorry Jalaal, I was just bringing some wood back home to fuel our fire.” Alim face flushed red with embarrassment as he quickly carried the wood into the house. Jalaal watched Alim trudge inside, and slowly shook his head. He didn’t know how he was going to tell his son about the bad news. As Alim walked into his house, his father slowly closed the door behind him, causing the cool breeze flowing into the house to slow to a halt. Their home was nothing special, a small shack with only a few rooms, which were used for bedrooms for Alim and Jalaal. Junk was scattered across the house, for it was hard for them to keep their house clean ever since Alims mother died. Since she has been gone, Alim and Jalaal have been living by themselves. They both had to go out and work every day to get food and make money, and it was not an easy task for them.

“Alim,” said Jalaal, “I have some bad news I have to tell you.”

“What is it, Papa?” asked Alim.

“As you already know,” replied Jalaal, “The soviets are invading our country right now. I didn’t think that this would be a big deal, but it turns out that we are at war with them. And to keep the both of us safe, we will have to move somewhere else, for the Soviet soldiers are moving very close to where we are right now.”

Alims eyes started to well up. Hearing this news devastated him. He would not be able to see any of his friends again, and he would surely miss the home that he has spent his entire life living in.

“Pack your things, Alim. We need to be out of here by tomorrow.” Alim slowly nodded, trying his best not to cry in front of his father. For the rest of the night, he spent his time packing up his essentials and items that he valued, though he could not bring everything that he had. This was like torture to Alim, knowing that he would probably never see this place again. When he finished packing, he slowly flopped onto his small hammock and lay there, thinking about what stories tomorrow would bring. His eyes slowly shut, and before he knew it, he fell fast asleep. Sunlight poured into Alims eyes as he woke the next morning. Heaving a big sigh as he got up and stretched, he noticed his father standing outside of his room, waiting for him to get ready.

“Let’s go, Alim. We haven’t got much time until the soldiers get here. Try to get ready as fast as you can.” Alim nodded and got dressed in a pair of fresh clothes that were on his bed. His father must have cleaned them for him the night before. When he was dressed and has his belongings, his father sat at their dinner table and lay bread and water out for Alim to eat before they left.

“Eat up, Alim,” said Jalaal, “Try to eat as much as you can, we need to conserve our energy, for we won’t have a lot of food on our journey.” Alim nodded as he quickly ate his helping of bread and water. When he was done, Alim pushed in his chair and walked outside with his belongings. His father soon followed. Jalaal pointed to their car, a worn down pickup-truck that they have had for many years. The truck used to be a bright green color, but years of being in the sun caused the colour to fade and turn into more of a tan colour. Many dents and scratches were all over the truck, showing signs of how much Jalaal uses it everyday. Jalaal and Alim approached their truck, and opened the doors to enter. Alim jumped into the backseat, and rested his head against the door. Jalaal threw all of their stuff in the back of the truck to make more room for them inside. Jalaal then hopped into the driver seat, and put the keys for the truck into the ignition. After a few attempts, the truck roared to life, and smoke billowed out of the exhaust pipe. Jalaal started driving, and Alim looked back behind him, at the house that he has loved his entire life, knowing that he would never see it again. Tears started pouring down his face, and he closed his eyes and wept. Alim tried to lay down and go to sleep, but the bumpiness of the truck made that almost impossible.

"Non-lethal Support" by: Carter McCormack

My artistic product, called "Non-lethal Support", was created on Dec. 12, 2016. My artwork is connected to my topic and topic info in many ways. It conveys an accurate image of the Soviet invasion and the elements represents things in this event. This artwork is related to the topic of the worlds reaction to the soviet invasion of Afghanistan because it has accurate setting, clear symbolism that shows a summary of the event, and correct actions in the artwork.

This artwork effectively describes the topic of the worlds reaction to the soviet invasion of Afghanistan. One way is the setting in the art piece. The setting consists of mountains and sandy, dirt areas. This is an good image of Afghanistan because it consists of vast areas without any grass or cities. In my research, I found "Forest and wetlands have been depleted by centuries of grazing and farming, practices which have only increased with modern population growth." However, much of the population depends on forests for firewood and the revenue generated by export of pistachios and almonds which grow in natural woodlands in the central and northern regions.

Next, in my artwork, I used clear symbolism that shows a summary of the event. In the event, soviet attempted to invade Afghanistan shown by the Soviet Union symbol charge at the man with a knife. In my research, I found "While the massive, lightning- fast military maneuvers and brazenness of Soviet political objectives constituted an “invasion” of Afghanistan." The man standing there is meant to be shown as a member of the Afghan militia.

Last, this is connected to the topic because it has correct actions. In the art work, the US is dropping supplies to the Afghan man. However, the supplies are non-lethal. In my research, I found "This move prompted the Carter administration to begin supplying non-lethal aid to Afghan mujahedeen, or Islamic insurgents." The US also took many other actions after the soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

This artwork is related to the topic of the worlds reaction to the soviet invasion of Afghanistan because it has accurate setting, clear symbolism that shows a summary of the event, and correct actions in the artwork. I found that the US really wanted to stay out of the invasion and only help with medical supplies. I learned that the US is able to make strategic decisions for our country to keep it safe while also helping foreign countries.

Poems by Cameron Stephens

LIMERICK

In we came with our men

Outmanned the resistance one to ten

We fought for so long

And when they became to strong

We packed up and went home again

SONNET

For my father has gone to fight

I don't know if he'll ever come back

The sky starts to turn black

He is gone day and night

I hold the picture of us firm and tight

The next day they show up at our shack

I hide under the table fearing an attack

They unload their guns and I follow the light

When the light finally fades away

I find myself in a new place

And there he is

In the middle of the day

With that huge smile of his

My father’s face

HAIKU 2

It's a brand new day

The people are out cheering

Our land has been freed

Poison Seeds- Free Verse

The Soviets came to our land

And conquered it with ease

I witnessed murder firsthand

But when they left it was just a tease

For our heroes had turned against us

And waged a seemingly endless war

We thought the Soviet departure was a plus

But what they left behind was worse than a cold sore

The Soviets had fought till the end

And our warriors drove them out

One of them was my friend

But he and the others left great doubt

Afghanistan was meant for great things

And had much promise and potential

The warriors had protected us like kings

But the storm they created was torrential

As they took over our home

And became power hungry

They promised a place like Rome

But instead they made America angry

The explosive rain poured down

And killed them but they killed us too

America came to save our town

But this time we were finally free and good as new

Outside Looking In- Haiku

Poor Afghanistan

Everlasting suffering

And no end in sight

LIMERICK

How could they do this

They sent our country into an abyss

Although we were free

None of our leaders could agree

Fighting resumed but at least we'd had some bliss

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