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STATISTICS:
The worst affected in the disputes between India and Pakistan, as in all conflict situations, are the women. They have lost children, husbands and homes, suffering the fallout of militancy.
Kashmir is considered one of the world's most dangerous territorial disputes due to the nuclear capabilities of India and Pakistan. The two countries have fought three wars over the territory: the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and the third Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
The poetry of Kashmir
Ami Vitale
United StatesGALLERYCONVERSATION
I wandered briefly into the poetry of Kashmir in November of 2001 and could not let go. Whether sipping saffron tea in the warmth of a Kashmiri home, sharing wazwan on a wedding day or trudging through the delicately etched landscape, this place filled me with affection.

After one visit, I could see that all is not what it seemed. Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir, once bustled with life and laughter. In 2001, it was neglected and pockmarked with craters. Hotels had been turned into barracks, guns poked out behind broken glass windows and netting protected the bleary eyes soldiers from the frequent grenade attacks. The language of this magnificent culture had degenerated into a dialogue of mourning.

In those brief years, I discovered a surprising thing: although it might be expected that the experiences I had would have given a greater knowledge of this complex place, the exact opposite is true. In that time, I found the more I tried to learn, the less I truly understood. Despite my intentions, I realized that there are so many truths for each person and I am afraid I fell woefully short of expectations. Yet, I am deeply grateful to the people who have taught me so much, given of themselves and shared their lives so that I could tell these stories. To them I owe everything. Some have shared their time, the unique richness of their history and culture, a warm cup of saffron tea, and others their most painful memories.

In one of these photos, a Muslim Kashmiri woman sits inside a shop with her children where traditional Islamic veils are made in Srinagar. The shadowy group, Lashkar-e-Jabbar, also known as Allah's Army sent a letter to a local newspaper saying that Muslim Kashmiri women must adhere to the dress code or face acid attacks beginning on April 1, 2002. The leader of the group also wrote, "if our members see any boy or girl or any illegal couple doing acts of immortality they will be killed there and then." The same group claimed responisiblity for two acid attacks on women in Srinagar last year. Kashmir has been the center of the ongoing dispute between India and Pakistan since the region was partioned when the British left in 1947.

Indian Border Security Force soldiers patrol the picturesque Dal Lake in Srinagar. Once a tourist hotspot, the only visitors to this magnificent landscape these days are Indian soldiers.

On May 1, 2003, hundreds of Kashmiri's were protesting the death of a 17- year-old student, Javed Ahmad Magray, who was allegedly taken from his home in the night by Indian security and killed in cold blood.

No writer or photographer has ever changed the course of humanity. Yet I have plenty of hopes and still believe there is value to speak the truth and to be able to share our voices with the world. With the recent political thaw in relations and a shift towards reason perhaps there is a new beginning with the hope of peace. I believe that all the inherent beauty will survive despite humanity’s ongoing attempts to control and destroy it.
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Living with Conflict
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hey wajdi is that you? email me at saher2k@hotmail.com
your old body saher
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