Afghan boy, five, dances with joy after he gets a new prosthetic leg in heart-warming video that has been watched more than one million times
- Ahmad Sayed Rahman was caught in crossfire between US-backed Afghan troops and Taliban when he was eight months old, and had leg amputated
- Boy, from Logar province, had first prosthetic at age one; is now on his fourth
- Twitter clip shows him dancing to phone music in Kabul hospital on Monday
- In 2018 alone, 3,804 civilians – including more than 900 children – were killed in Afghanistan, and another 7,000 more were wounded, according to UN
With his hands in the air and an infectious grin, a young Afghan boy whirls around a Kabul hospital room on his new prosthetic leg while music blasts from a mobile phone.
The boy, five-year-old Ahmad Sayed Rahman, was shot in the leg when he was just eight months old after he was caught in the crossfire between US-backed Afghan troops and the Taliban.
He has captured hearts in Afghanistan after a short video of him effortlessly dancing on his new limb was posted on Twitter on Monday – and has already had 1million views.
Ahmad and his parents, who are farmworkers, come from Logar province south of Kabul, where fighting between the Taliban and the US-backed Afghan army is frequent.
Ahmad Sayed Rahman is filmed dancing on his new prosthetic on Monday. He was caught in the crossfire between Afghan forces and the Taliban when he just a baby and was shot in the leg, which was amputated soon after
Ahmad (seen above on Tuesday) first received a prosthetic leg when he was one, and soon learned how to dance. The growing boy has needed a new one almost every year
The five-year-old Afghan boy whirls around a Kabul hospital room while music blares from a mobile phone. The footage of him dancing with joy has had more than 1million views since it was posted this week
Ahmad and his parents, who are farmworkers, hail from Logar province south of Kabul, where there is frequent fighting between the US-backed Afghan army and the Taliban
His mother said he and his sister, Salima, were caught in the crossfire of a battle, and both children were seriously wounded. Salima suffered bullet wounds to her kidney and legs.
Ahmad, whose leg was amputated below the knee soon after he was shot, is a long-time patient, his physiotherapist Semeen Sarwari said.
He received his first prosthetic when he was one, and soon learned to dance.
And because he’s growing fast, he has needed a new leg every year or so. This new one is his fourth.
How 2018 was Afghanistan’s deadliest year
The clinic where Ahamad was treated – the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – has registered almost 178,000 patients with disabilities in Afghanistan, including more than 46,100 amputees, since it began documenting the injuries in 1988.
In 2018 alone, 3,804 civilians – including more than 900 children – were killed in Afghanistan, and another 7,000 more were wounded, according to the United Nations.
It was the deadliest year yet for civilians in Afghanistan’s conflict.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said a ‘shocking number’ of civilians are still being killed or maimed and called on all parties to do more to safeguard them.
Peace talks are ongoing between the US and the Taliban but are moving slowly, adding to the anguish of everyday Afghans who have no idea what the future might hold for their country.
‘He is always dancing and showing how happy he is to have an artificial leg,’ his mother, Rayeesa, told reporters at the Red Cross orthopaedic centre in the Afghan capital on Tuesday.
‘I’m so happy for him that he’s received this artificial leg and that now he can be independent,’ she added, as Ahmad danced to music blasting from a mobile phone.
His physiotherapist added: ‘He’s a child and wants to play. He wants to have a leg so is adapting quickly.
‘He doesn’t want to sit around inside.’
More than one million people in Afghanistan have some form of disability – most of them due to injuries from four decades of war, harking back to the Soviet invasion of 1979.
More than 500,000 people had watched the video clip on Twitter within a day of it being posted this week.
By Tuesday, he was showing off his skills to reporters in Kabul and was the top story on evening news programmes
The video has attracted hundreds of admiring comments, with some people even offering to help.
‘This is the smile of victory over all odds of life …god bless you dude’ one Twitter user wrote.
‘Extremely amazed by the paradox of happiness & grief in this video!’ wrote another.
Ahmad’s mother, Rayeesa, holds her son’s prosthetic. ‘He is always dancing and showing how happy he is to have an artificial leg,’ she said
Ahmad is among the 1million people in Afghanistan who have some form of disability – most of them due to injuries from four decades of war, harking back to the Soviet invasion of 1979
The little boy’s physiotherapist said that Ahmad is keen to play and doesn’t want to just sit around
In 2018 alone, 3,804 civilians – including more than 900 children – were killed in Afghanistan, and another 7,000 more were wounded, according to the UN
Ahmad’s video was shot by Mulkara Rahimi, another physiotherapist at the Red Cross centre.
In her 10 years of professional activity, she has seen many patients like him.
‘Because he was so happy about the new prosthesis, I just wanted to save a record of the happiness,’ Rahimi said.
US is ready for ‘all sides’ to lay down arms in Afghan war as Taliban rejects ‘permanent ceasefire’, says Trump’s envoy
The United States special envoy tasked with forging a peace deal with the Taliban said last Saturday that America stands ready for ‘all sides’ to lay down arms in the 17-year conflict.
Peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is leading the latest round of talks with the Taliban in Doha, where the two foes are pursuing a deal that would see the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in return for Taliban security guarantees.
‘All sides laying down arms is the outcome of any peace process,’ Khalilzad tweeted.
‘All sides agreeing to reduce violence is a necessary step toward achieving that outcome and the morally responsible choice to make. We stand ready.’
Khalilzad’s comments come a day after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he was prepared to call an ‘immediate’ and ‘permanent’ ceasefire – but the Taliban rebuffed the offer.
Taliban militants and residents stand on a Humvee vehicle of the Afghan National Army (above, in June 2018) in Kandahar province, Afghanistan
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