The thesis "Coping with disrupted lives, - a study of Afghan girls and their family networks" explores the practical and emotional ways of coping of the generation who has grown up with the war in Afghanistan, and in exile in Peshawar, Pakistan. Based on nine months of fieldwork in 1998/99, the study describes the life histories and the everyday lives of a number of young girls and their families during the various phases of war in Kabul, and in exile across the border. The study is concerned with the "new" refugees; the urban middle class of educated professionals who left Kabul at the outbreak of the civil war. By focusing on a section of the Afghan refugees that has received little attention, I highlight Liisa Malkki's point that refugees are not a homogeneous group. In order to address their concerns and understand their coping strategies, they must be seen in the context of their specific political histories. Peshawar is described as a key place in the Afghan diaspora, and the refugees maintain strong links with Kabul as well as with their extended trans-national family networks. Another objective has been to challenge the tendency in international refugee discourse to view people affected by war and displacement as mere victims. I focus on the young girls as social actors without disregarding the difficult circumstances of their lives, attempting to bring out the coping, creative aspects of their life experiences. The girls live within the context of their families, and I have explored the changes in roles and relations within the households. Many of the girls live in female-headed households, and some are income earners. I explore how the girls adapt their new roles to the ideal of the khub dakhtar, the respectful daughter. The girls have all had their educations disrupted by the war, and dream of a future where they can attend schools and universities. Lack of education and livelihood opportunities in a war stricken Kabul, and increasingly difficult living conditions in Peshawar motivate more and more families to attempt migration. The successful ones are those who are able to mobilize resources in their extended family networks abroad. These networks are crucial to the coping of the girls and their families, and the study concludes that despite drastic changes and geographical dispersal, the role of the family has not diminished; the reciprocity norm in family relations still stands strong. The study also explores the various religious and cultural practices the girls and women draw on in order to cope emotionally with grief and loss, practices rooted in a cosmology that emphasize resilience, dignity and the ethos of hiding ones troubled heart with a smile.