The sun shines through the ruins of an old house, destroyed during the 1990s civil war, where children play a game of football.
A burqa clad woman travelling by donkey beside the Mazar Highway
Men and boys eat at a stall in the busy Central Market.
A group of men in a tea shop in Kabul's old city.
Smoking chimneys rise behind a group of men working at a brick factory outside Herat.
A husband and wife pictured in Maslakh Refugee Camp. Located approximately 20km from Herat in remote western Afghanistan the camp was once the largest in the country holding an estimated 350, 000 people.
A man with mental health illness sits on a window sill in a mental health institution.
Refugees pray in the courtyard of a mosque at the Maslakh Refugee Camp.
A baby, covered by a netting to protect her from flies, sleeps at a refugee camp for internally displaced people.
Youths smoke hashish openly in public.
Men and boys bathe in the hot room in a hammam on a Friday after prayers
The 22 year old groom smiles while he sits among his male relatives and enjoys the celebrations on his wedding day.
Women and children sort wool in a fur and wool factory that produce's coats, jackets, hats and other garments for the European and North American markets. More than 350 female and 300 male workers sort wool by tearing pieces of goat's and sheep's wool, which usually contain harmful bacteria, without protective gloves or masks. A lung and chest diseases specialist, at the Herat City Hospital, says workers in fur and wool factories are vulnerable to virulent microbes, which harm the respiratory system and cause chest infections.
A group of young boys sit on the floor in an orphanage's bare room and watch television.
A man comforts one of two men injured during a Taliban attack, that they claimed was in revenge for the killing of Osama bin Laden, as they are treated at Mirvays Hospital.
Two women prisoners in a cell at Herat Prison. They have both been accused of murdering their abusive husbands. Herat's prison has about 1,700 inmates, of whom, residing in a separate facility, over 100 are women.
Burqa-clad women walk against the wind during a sandstorm blowing through central Kabul.
Mental health patients lie on the floor, wrapped in blankets and chained together.
A group of men at Maslakh Refugee Camp. Located approximately 20km from Herat in remote western Afghanistan the camp was once the largest in the country holding an estimated 350, 000 people.
A vendor sits with his pigeons which he sells in a bird market in the old part of Kabul.
A hawker, without wares, sits on his cart.
Sparks fly from beneath a huge pot of food during cooking for wedding celebration.
A man self-flagellates with sharpened blades during Ashura, the last day of Muharram. Ashura is observed by Shi'a (Shiite) Muslims at the end of a period of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Muhammad who died at the Battle of Karbala (680 CE). Grand processions, religious sermons, charity work and most notably, self-flagellation and displays of intense grief, are all traditions of Ashura.
A man with one leg walks with the aid of crutches along a dusty road.
A child cries out as he is punished at a religious school by a man who has tied the boy to a stick.
A boy and a girl fly up into the air as they ride on the swings in a children's playground.
People relax on the shore of Lake Karga.
A horse and rider exercise on Nader Khan Hill the day before an important game of Buzkashi, Afghanistan's national sport. Literally translated as 'goat grabbing', it is played by two teams of men on horseback. They battle for control of a headless goat carcass the objective being getting it into a scoring circle. The game is said to date from the days of Genghis Khan, and remained popular despite being declared un-Islamic by the Taliban.
Afghanistan: A Troubled Legacy
Afghanistan used to be a peaceful country, popular with hippies coming from Europe to South East Asia. But things changed dramatically after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The Soviet intervention left two million dead, a third of the Afghan population fled to Iran and Afghanistan. In the 1980s, half of all refugees in the world were Afghan, The Soviet intervention also gave rise to a jihadist struggle against the godless invaders. Various resistance groups, from moderate mujahideen to more radical groups like the Taliban and Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, competed for funding from the USA, fighting its proxy war with the Soviet Union, and Saudi Arabia. When the Soviets retreated in 1988, civil war ensued.
The Taliban, supported by Pakistan, seized Kabul in 1996 and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. After this, the country became a major training ground for radical jihadists. Following the September 11 attacks on the USA, the Taliban leadership of the country refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the terrorist strike. In response, a US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan, aiming to dismantle bin Laden's Al Qaeda organisation and destroy terrorist infrastructure. Following the cessation of major hostilities, Afghanistan became the focus of massive rebuilding efforts with billions of dollars pledged from around the world.
In the following years, many Afghans returned to the country with the hope to a better future. A fitful peace returned to the country but the US, under George W. Bush, soon found a new focus in the Middle East, diverting its efforts and money toward a new adventure in Iraq. By 2006, a growing insurgency against the perceived Western occupiers resulted in a new, low-level war in Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
Suicide bombs, previously unknown in Afghanistan, found their way to Afghanistan from Iraq, where they had become a depressing daily ritual. The Taliban, now funded by opium revenues, expanded their threats with attacks on foreign and Afghan soldiers, and civilians. With increasing numbers Taliban entering the Afghan military a new, so called 'blue on green' threat of violence developed.
Corruption and poverty remain a scourge in Afghanistan, driving people into the arms of the Taliban and away from the corrupt central government. Taliban ideology is still taught in the thousands of madrases which teach children and teenagers in many parts. Drug addiction among men is high and has led to high unemployment. Widows of the tens of thousands who have died in the war have been reduced to begging. Many families sell their young daughters to old men for a fee. As a result, many child brides self-immolate or commit suicide.
The UN's Mine Information Network estimates that there are 62 people killed or injured every month due to landmines. Afghans fall victim to bombings, road mining and suicide attacks all too frequently. For those who survive, the medical and rehabilitation facilities are poor. Psychiatric hospitals in the country are struggling with the hordes of people mentally scarred by the years of violence. With a poor education system and clan-controlled infrastructure, the help and financial aid from the West is insufficient and often squandered. NATO soldiers are due to leave by 2014 but what will they leave behind.
Hossein Fatemi spent 7 years photographing Afghanistan, where he was intermittently based.