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Excerpt from Shooting Kabul

Fadi added  few finishing touches to his drawings of amoebas and other single-celled micro-organisms which the class had been reviewing. He slowly slipped the pages into his science notebook and waited for the rest of the kids to rush out to lunch. He hadn’t said a single word to anyone since homeroom that morning, and no one had made the effort to talk to him, either. He spotted two Afghan kids whispering to each other in Farsi in math class, but he couldn’t get himself to walk up to them. It’s as if I don’t exist.

At least the class work didn’t look too hard. They were doing fractions in math which he’d covered with his mother last year.

Fadi put on his backpack, glanced at the school map on the back of his schedule, and headed towards the cafeteria. With only one wrong turn that had him double back, he found the beige double doors to the lunchroom. He paused for a moment and dug into the side pocket of backpack for his lunch card. With the hard plastic rectangle hidden in his palm, he walked into the noisy sprawling space. He spotted the two Afghan kids from his math class and followed them from a distance. He grabbed a tray and got a line. The kids around him were telling one another about all the fun stuff they’d done that summer - trips to Disneyland, camping in Yosemite National Park, or swimming at the beach.

Fadi looked at them in growing annoyance. I bet none of them ran away and lost their kid sister in the process



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