Nowadays I’m a student in third year English in Dushanbe. I like to study hard. I grew up in the village of Shul, in Rasht District, Tajikistan. The war began when I was six years old. The planes flew over our house for two or three weeks and nothing happened, so we began to think it was possible they weren’t going to do anything. That morning, some relatives came to our house to visit and the family was sitting around the table. I was just a little boy, and I was playing with my brothers and watching TV. When the cluster bombs fell I was sitting near the door. It seemed to me at that time like everything was exploding. Then all I could see was just my little one-year-old brother, he was crying, but there was no way I could reach him. While running out of the house I also passed my sister, but I was not able to help her, I felt as if I had lost myself, and so I ran straight out into the yard. At that moment I couldn’t even tell that my eyes had been injured, I couldn’t feel that at all, I could only see that my hand had been hurt. When I saw my hand, seeing all that blood, I fell to the ground in shock.
Our neighbours saw me and took me to a shelter where the planes couldn’t see us. We stayed there for an hour before my uncles came and took us to another safe place. Finally that night my aunt took me to another village. I stayed in that village for three months until my injuries healed. Cluster bombs also injured my sister and two little brothers. My brother and an uncle where killed during the bombing. Another relative was also killed. He had fled to our village to stay with our family to escape the dangers of the fighting in his own village, but the planes killed him with cluster bombs in our house. Actually, many of our relatives had come to our house to escape the war in their villages. After my injuries healed, my father, who had been working in Tajikistan, returned to Uzbekistan to bring the family to meet him in Dushanbe. My father cried when he heard about the deaths of his son and brother. He took us to the hospital for proper treatment. While we there my father disappeared, and we never found out what happened to him. I was in the hospital in Dushanbe for one year with my sister and two brothers. My sister had to have five operations and her hands still didn’t work by the end of our stay there, although they are all right now. She was badly injured in her head and her arm, her finger was cut, and a piece of shrapnel travelled through her abdomen. When we left the hospital we went back to our house, which our relatives had repaired before we returned. There were still unexploded cluster bomblets in the house and garden. My relatives took the ones they could find and threw them into the river, but after we returned we still found cluster bomblets in our garden and in our fields. The people of the village took the bomblets they found and threw them in the river too so children couldn’t play with them. I think cluster munitions are an important problem for all the people of the world. I ask: “Who will be next? My child? My friend’s child?” I care for all the people of the future who might be threatened.