Two Afghan women in Kabul. Photo: Beth Murphy.
Following the Boston attacks, photos showing Afghans holding a sign reading “To Boston from Kabul, with love” started spreading on social networks. This touching show of support was launched by a documentary filmmaker from Boston working in Afghanistan.
On April 15, when two explosions went off near the Boston marathon finish line, Beth Murphy was in Kabul shooting a documentary. When she heard the news, Murphy decided to make this sign and take a photo of herself holding it in the streets of the capital. But she never took that photo. As she talked to Afghans about what had happened, and heard how much they wanted to express their sympathy, she asked if they would like to be photographed holding the sign.
In Afghanistan, deadly bomb attacks are frequent. Just Wednesday, a homemade bomb exploded in the country’s east, killing at least seven civilians, including children.
"Everyone I talked to here knows someone – directly or indirectly - affected by terrorist attacks"
Beth Murphy is a journalist. She lives in Cape Cod, near Boston, where she works.
When I talked to Afghans about the Boston bombings, rather than talk about them with a sense of cynicism or with a feeling of desensitization because of all the bombings they experience here – which you might expect – they expressed a deeper understanding of the tragedy, a deeper connection to it precisely because of what they experience here.The people I've met here are very moved by the tragic stories coming out of Boston, especially by the story of the family that suffered so many tragedies – they lost their 8-year-old son who was eating an ice cream when the attack happened, his younger sister lost a leg, and the mother suffered a brain injury. Everyone I talked to here knows someone – directly or indirectly - affected by terrorist attacks, and all of them expressed sympathy for the victims in Boston attacks and their loved ones.
"After living through three decades of war, I understand the pain of the Boston victims and of those who saw the explosions' aftermath"
Sahera lives in Kabul. She lost her husband in a bomb attack.
I decided to pose with this sign because we’re all humans, and no humans in the world deserve to experience such sadness. After living through three decades of war, I completely understand the pain of the Boston victims and of those who saw the explosions' aftermath. I believe those who carry such attacks are inhuman. I think most Afghans feel the same way as I do.Attacks like this happen on a daily basis in Afghanistan; they’re part of everyday life. We’re very sad for the Americans, because they are not used to this. Their lives are usually peaceful, so an incident like this must really shake them up.I hope one day Afghanistan will also become the centre of the world’s attention, like Boston is now. Our people are fed up and need to be rescued from all this darkness and misfortune. In the case of my family, we lost our breadwinner when my husband died in an attack, and now I can’t afford for my children to study.