Skip to main content

Place of 'miracle' for Afghanistan's amputees

  • Story Highlights
  • Photojournalist James Nachtwey talks about the Kabul Orthopedic Center
  • He went there on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • His photos appear in a global ICRC exhibition "Our World -- At War"
  • It's part of the Our World. Your Move. campaign to mark 150 years of the Red Cross
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

(CNN) -- Award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey was one of five photographers commissioned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to capture images of life in some of the world's most troubled countries.

Alberto Cairo, director of the Kabul Orthopedic Center, helps an amputee adjust to a prosthetic.

Alberto Cairo, director of the Kabul Orthopedic Center, helps an amputee adjust to a prosthetic.

The project took him to the ICRC Orthopedic Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, a place he describes as "a kind of miracle," and a refuge from the harsh reality of life in the country's war-torn capital.

More than 40,000 patients have been treated at the center since it opened in 1988, including 30,000 amputees.

The center operates under the direction of Alberto Cairo, a lawyer-turned-physiotherapist from Piedmont, Italy who has been working in Afghanistan since 1989. Video Watch video of the Orthopedic Center »

He is shown here in the photo, checking the alignment of an amputee's prosthesis to make sure that he stands straight.

Don't Miss

Nachtwey's photos of the Kabul Orthopedic Center are being displayed in the ICRC exhibition, "Our World -- At War," which opened in New York, Geneva and more than 40 countries in early May.

It also features photos Nachtwey took in Central Mindanao in the Philippines and pictures by other leading photojournalists including Ron Haviv, Franco Pagetti, Christopher Morris and Antonin Kratochvil. Video Watch what is being done for landmine victims »

See photos Ron Haviv took in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Haiti.

See Franco Pagetti's photos from Lebanon.


The exhibition is part of the Our world. Your move. campaign, which is being conducted with the the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as part of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Solferino which is considered to be where the idea of the Red Cross was started.

Have you been affected by conflict? Send your photos and stories to iReport.

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print