The past three decades of war and disorder have had a devastating impact on the Afghan people. Millions have been killed, millions more have been forced to flee their homes and the country’s infrastructure and forests have all but been destroyed. The social fabric of the country is fractured and state institutions are fragile and weak. Much has been written about the wars in Afghanistan and the basic narrative of the conflict, in one form or another, has been repeated in countless books, academic articles and news reports.  But the voices of ordinary Afghans are often absent from these accounts, and yet it is the Afghan people who are most affected by the violence.  To better understand how Afghans have experienced and understand the conflict, eight nongovernmental organizations operating in Afghanistan conducted research in 14 provinces across the country.  This research focused on individual experiences of the past thirty years of conflict, perceptions of the current conflict and recommendations for alleviating the violence and addressing its root causes.  This research does not aim to provide a full accounting of the fighting or to represent the views and experiences of all Afghans. Rather, it seeks to more fully articulate Afghan experiences of the conflict and its recommendations seek to convey the aspirations that Afghans have for peace and the future of their country

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