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Archive for August, 2009

6.45pm. 5 car bombs (conflicting reports say it was a truck bomb). Over 100 victims.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

One of my colleagues cousin was killed in the attacks last night. Seeing him cry was heartbreaking.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families. God be with you.

The entire city is down, people are burying loved ones.

10 per cent of election votes were counted last night, Karzai is reported to be on the lead with Abdullah squared following by 10,000 short. Useless count, they should just count it altogether, it sparks uproar and also creates false hopes.

Will post more later, my brain isn’t working after hearing about that.

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I just read a blog about the position homosexuals hold in Islam. I am a Muslim. I know my religion and believe in it with passion.

Some of the comments on that blog were appalling. Some even took the step of banishing homosexuals from being Muslims.

I don’t agree with the concept of homosexuality but I will not go about denunciating them. That is God’s duty – not ours. We should stop playing his role.

A Muslim is ANYONE who believes in one God and that Prophet Mohd is his messenger. A person can be a rapist but still be a Muslim, a person can be a murderer but may still be a Muslim – whether he’s a good or bad Muslim is another story but he is STIL A Muslim and no one has the right to banish them from Islam. Granted — Homosexuality is prohibited and punishment is allocated to it but that does not give any Muslim the right to call another person who claims to be Muslim a KAFIR.

In a world where judgment of others and hatred of the not-so-perfect Muslim has only led us to tension and more hatred. Let’s stop judging others and leave it to God.

May Allah guide us all.

Ameen.

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Elections outcomes still not finalised but judging from the provincial counts, Karzai has won.

Abdullah squared reckons he has won. Highly unlikely. There’s no way he could win without a run off but he is confident he has won and won’t need a run off. I hope we don’t need a run off, it will be a HUGE mess.

So go Karzai.

And yes, hearing from relatives, they found this washing detergent that wipes off the black ink from the finger and the voter can vote again. Ridiculous.

Also, only 40-50% of the registered voters voted.

Preliminary results should be out in 24 hours.

Ramadan mubarak!!! First day or Ramadan today and it’s only 10am and I’m hungry already!

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E-Day

The BBC’s Harun Nazafijada in Kabul says: I can see a number of girls with make-up wearing jeans and mini-skirts voting in a school. There are women in burkas too. Many of the women voters seems to be students.

Mini skirts in Kabul???? HA! What a liar!!!  Men and women polling centres are segregated, he can’t even see women. Why is he reporting falsely?!

Turn out has been low. Security situation in Afg has been terrible. Two explosions (or more) have happened in Kabul and rocket attacks in Kandahar killing a child. I’m following the elections closely – i hope the situation improves!

I truly hope Abdullah squared (Abdullah Abdullah = Abdullah squared… get it?)  does NOT win. Northern Alliance is even more dangerous than the Taliban (I second Malalai Joya on that!) Northern Alliance has killed more people than the Taliban. I’m all for Karzai, Ghani or Bashardost! C’mon guys!!!

Will keep you updated…

Update 10.58am-

  • Fighting in Karteh Naw – Militants are seeking refuge and shooting from a house. There are reports of three loud explosions at the house in the capital where a firefight is ongoing between gunmen described as militants and international forces.
  • Khost has run out of ballot papers
  • Two other provinces including Kunduz cannot punch holes in the registration cards because their machines don’t work.
  • 3 polling stations in Ghazni has been closed due to threats.
  • BBC in Kabul: One Afghan poll official said he thinks more reporters may have showed up than voters.
  • Ramazan Bashardost says that the indellible ink is easily washed off (Al Jazeera). This is supposed to have stayed on the finger for 2 weeks. This prevents people from voting twice. Not good…

will keep updating…

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It’s 8.57am. I’m still at home. Movement to work has been delayed.

There were two rocket attacks this morning at 0700hrs a few kms away targeting the presidential palace. I didn’t hear it (thank God).  There are also unconfirmed reports of two rocket attacks in Karteh Sey, somewhere I travel EVERYDAY.  The parliament is there and also a few embassies.

Most Ministries have called their consultants informing them not to come to work in case of attack. They should have had today off nationwide. Sheesh!

I can’t wait til the election is over. It’s getting pretty scary! So many innocent people are dying.

I have had a few questions about the election process and how it works here. Well this is AFghanistan, 30 years of war, second EVER elections – you do the math. While in Australia, America etc you just jump into your car and go to your polling centre – Afghanistan is not quite like that.

Polling centres are segregated (men and women) this is good because it encourages women to come and vote even in the most conservative areas. However, it’s not cultural limitations that is restricting women to come and vote, it’s the security situation. Most don’t feel that their safety is assured.

Watched the Live debate on RTA between Karzai, Ghani and Bashardost  (The Afghan Gandhi). I think Bashardost did good and actually answered the questions. Ghani was also good.

Tomorrow is Independence Day so it’s a public holiday. Wohoo.. It’s 4 days off this weekend!

Ramadan is around the corner…

And so is my trip to Australia!

Inshallah!!!

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After two days of lockdown, we’ve finally been released and I’m back at work. Leona Lewis is singing Keep bleeding on my brand new iPod that I got as a birthday present from my colleagues.

I was planning on writing something about the elections but to make it more interesting, I’m going to put it this way:

Top 10 things you need to know about the Afghan elections:

  1. This is the second Presidential elections EVER in Afghanistan (the first being in 2004)
  2. There are over 40 candidates in the presidential race. Less than 10 are people who the public knows about. Most are amateurs who just want their  15 minutes of fame.
  3. The ’09 elections are perceived more dangerous than ’04.
  4. Taliban have threatened anyone who goes to the polling centres as they will be attacked (although the governor of Kandahar says that the Taliban have declared a ceasefire for elections)
  5. Voters have to have their fingers inked with indelible black ink when they vote to ensure they don’t vote again. The Taliban have claimed they will punish those they find with inked fingers.
  6. People in Afghanistan don’t always vote on individual basis. If a village leader supports a particular candidate and urges his people to vote for the same candidate, the villagers will do so.
  7. Afghans are anticipating ‘Iranian style’ violent rallies after the elections, particularly in Herat province.
  8. The polls that you hear about on TV… don’t believe it! The survey is only carried out in Kabul and Kabul is NOT Afghanistan.  It’s not a true reflection of the ENTIRE Afghanistan.
  9. Even if a candidate receives majority of the votes, it has to be more than 50% of the votes. If this doesn’t happen, then a run off will take place – it will be a mess.
  10. There is not ONE Afghan that I know who will vote.

The bomb attacks two days ago:

The vehicle was packed with 300 kiloes (600 pounds) of explosives.

Normally the Taliban use Toyota Corollas but this time, it was a 4WD Surf. There is also one person in the car when it’s a suicide bomber, this time it was two. Looks like my amateur scanning of potential suicide bombers in Toyota Corollas while I’m out and about is no longer effective.

I’m feeling okay now. I was afraid to sleep the day the bombs happened, I was paranoid.  This morning I didn’t want to leave the house until 9am (after bombing peak hours).

Khudaya khair.

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Ashraf Ghani

I love Ashraf Ghani but he resembles Mr Burns so much! Yeah?? No?? Yea??

I love Ashraf Ghani but he resembles Mr Burns so much! Yeah?? No?? Yea??

I hope you win, mate!

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