News

One of the most desperately poor, war-torn nations on earth, Afghanistan attracts our attention mostly for the wrong reasons. Well over 30 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty, with as many clinging to their places just barely above the poverty line. While Afghanistan is the world’s leader in opium exports, domestic consumption afflicts almost a quarter of a million, with an additional 150,000 addicted to heroin, triple the number from 2005. Violence against women and girls continues. But rich cultural traditions abound, and Afghan society is making progress. Gathered here are images of the colorful yet troubled lives of Afghan civilians. — Lane Turner (29 photos total)

A boy tries to catch a falling kite on a hilltop in Kabul on April 28, 2013. (Omar Sobhani/Reuters)