Terrorism has affected people all over the world, but few can understand what it is like to live through the violence and turmoil within troubled nations, especially through a child's eyes.

The New York Times and Penn Student Agencies presented a screening last night in Logan Hall of Terror's Children, a one-hour special portraying the lives of various Afghan refugees, specifically children, as they try to make a living after fleeing from Afghanistan.

"It was an eye-opening and enlightening experience to see these kids living their lives like that," said College senior Julie Yannalfo, who also helped organize the event.

The film followed reporter Sharmeen Obaid, a young Pakistani woman educated in the United States, as she returned to Karachi, Pakistan, to document the lives of these children.

The many different stories presented in the film included a 13-year-old boy working as a carpet-weaver who was the sole provider for his family, a 9-year-old girl who pretended to get married as a means of having fun and a 10-year-old boy who attended a madrassa, an Islamic religious school, and memorized the Quran.

On screen, Obaid presented these poignant stories that illustrated the aftermath of war and gave a glimpse of the responsibilities and harsh lives that these young boys and girls have to endure.

The film "left out politics and stripped it down to the humanitarian concerns," College senior Anjum Cheema said. "It did a good job of portraying the children's lives so you see them on an equal level, as individual human beings."

A student discussion panel followed the screening and featured representatives from the International Affairs Association, Penn Pakistan Society, Muslim Students Association and Penn for UNICEF.

The six-student panel facilitated a dialogue with audience members, as well as with each other.

Conversation touched upon topics ranging from opinions about the screening, current events, the role of Western nations in combating terrorism and even personal experiences of students in relation to the current situation in the Middle East.

Engineering senior Sanzar Kakar was a panelist who said he chose to participate in the event since the subject is something that he can relate to directly. Kakar has family members who live in the refugee camps like the one in the film.

"The movie was interesting to many members of the audience, but to me, it was a portrayal of daily life," Kakar said.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.