KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan children tumble, juggle, smile and laugh as they roll over mats and keep bowling pins in the air, performing a series of circus feats taught as a rare treat amid their country's decades of war.
It's part of the Mini Mobile Circus for Children, a program run by a nonprofit group supported by foreign embassies and others in Afghanistan. Some 850 children across the country take part in the program, which includes children from refugee families and orphanages.
"We want Afghan children to experience something non-violent and not related to war and taste a peaceful life to get ready to make a peaceful life in their future," said David Mason, one of the program's leaders.
Recently, the children performed in Kabul, which included sessions where they also did magic tricks and juggled flaming pins. Young girls wearing brightly colored hijabs also took part, though in some provinces the program has no girls participating.
Here is a gallery of images by Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini showing Afghan children performing the circus feats they've learned.
Mini Mobile Circus for Children: www.afghanmmcc.org