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We tend to look at Afghanistan through the lens of conflict, with good reason. Deaths of American forces recently reached 2000 in the 11 years since US involvement in the country began. Afghan forces have suffered perhaps 10,000 losses, and even conservative estimates suggest as many as 20,000 Afghan civilians have perished. It's a heavy toll for one of the most impoverished populations on Earth. While acknowledging those human losses, it's important also to celebrate the lives of those carrying on in the face of bitter warfare and economic hardship. Although no facet of Afghan life remains untouched by conflict, gathered here are images made in September of ordinary Afghans getting on with the business of life. -- Lane Turner (27 photos total)

Afghan youths pose as they ride a donkey on the outskirts of Herat on September 7, 2012. Despite billions of dollars in Western development aid, the United Nations says half of Afghanistan's estimated population of 30 million live below the poverty line in what remains one of the world's poorest countries. (Aref Karimi/AFP/GettyImages)


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