The Crossing

Dispatches from a road trip through Afghanistan's forgotten north.

By Anna Badkhen

The Crossing: A Journey Through North Afghanistan

"Don't even dare travel on that road": In the first entry of a month-long travel diary, our correspondent ponders maps and routes in Kabul.

APRIL 12, 2010

Afghanistan's Multiple Personalities

Our diarist flies from Kabul to Mazar-e-Sharif, carrying photos of old, lost friends.

APRIL 13, 2010

Digging Out in Afghanistan's Forgotten Village

On the third day of her journey, our correspondent visits a town buried in mud -- and trying to recover with no help from either the government or the Taliban.

APRIL 14, 2010

"Who Needs a Playground When the Children Are Dying?"

The government told them it was finally safe to come back -- even built them a clinic, a school, a playground. But what good's a playground when you have nothing to eat? Day 5 on our diarist's journey through Northern Afghanistan.

APRIL 16, 2010

"In My Father's House They Gathered All the Women into One Room"

Visiting the victims of Afghanistan's revenge rapes.

APRIL 17, 2010

The Muezzin of the Blue Mosque

Finding some solace with an unlikely old friend.

APRIL 18, 2010

Earthquakes and Other Disturbances

Beginning the second week of her journey, our diarist encounters some shaky territory on the way to Kunduz.

APRIL 19, 2010

Ruins and Reunions

Our correspondent finds her friends, at last.

APRIL 21, 2010

Helpless to Help in Afghanistan's Local Government

Back in Kunduz, encounters with the unfortunate men whose job it is to keep northern Afghans safe and secure.

APRIL 22, 2010

How Do Afghans Relax?

They go take a hike -- and so does our diarist, spending a day of leisure on hills that were once bloody battlefields.

APRIL 23, 2010

Afghanistan's Boys in Blue

With cops like these, who needs robbers? Our diarist meets one of Afghanistan's finest.

APRIL 24, 2010

Afghanistan's Little Men

Stopping through Mazar-e-Sharif, our correspondent witnesses one of the most disturbing side effects of the region's poverty: young boys with old faces.

APRIL 26, 2010

Warped Lives

In a tiny room with no door, in a village with no roads, a drugged woman ties thousands of knots to weave a rug for others to walk on.

APRIL 27, 2010

Is the U.S. Airlifting Taliban Troops into Northern Afghanistan?

No. But the question itself poses more questions than you might think.

APRIL 28, 2010

Homesick for Nowhere

Refugees from a place that no longer exists, these Afghan settlers live in a slapped-together collection of tents on land that belongs to their ancestral enemy.

APRIL 29, 2010

In the Children's Ward

Visiting the pediatrics center at an Afghan city hospital, in a country where only three out of four children live to be five.

APRIL 30, 2010

Eternal Enemies, One Mile Apart

Our correspondent visits two Afghan villages hardened by centuries of hatred -- and separated by only a short stretch of road.

MAY 2, 2010

My Afghan Home

Nearing the end of the road, our diarist reflects on the unlikely sanctuary she found in a blighted land.

MAY 3, 2010

Three Weeks in a Hopeless Land

I returned to a place I saw liberated in 2001. Now the Taliban are back, and the only thing that has improved is the cell-phone reception.

MAY 4, 2010

Majid Saeedi/Getty Images