Meet the Man Who Buries Suicide Bombers for a Living

A profile of the most thankless job in Afghanistan
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2013 4:05 PM CDT
Meet the Man Who Buries Suicide Bombers for a Living
Afghan women offer prayers at the grave of their relative in a grave yard in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File)

Khwaja Naqib Ahmad's job is to give proper Muslim burials to the unclaimed dead. But in Afghanistan, more and more of the bodies coming to him are those of suicide bombers, the New York Times reports in a profile of what is surely one of the most thankless jobs in all of Kabul. Since 2009, there has been a steady average of 150 suicide attacks a year, but recently, more have been taking place in Kabul and the number of bombers involved in each attack has increased. "Every single Muslim’s duty is to bury his Muslim brother, no matter ... what social status he comes from,” says Ahmad. “To me, my job is important. I don’t care who I am burying. I see no difference between the addict or the bomber."

Ahmad, 52—who says he's the type of person who becomes sad when someone cuts down a tree, let alone murders another person—has been searching for a replacement for years, but has found no takers. So three times a week, he visits the graves of men nobody else will, making sure they haven't been tampered with and the Taliban hasn't come to reclaim their bodies. When roads are unusable in the winter, he carries the corpses on his shoulders to their final resting place. "I look at them as humans and treat their bodies with respect because I believe that they were full of hope and life when they were alive,” he says. “I do not think about what they do." Click to read the full piece at the Times. (Read more Kabul stories.)

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