Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Afghanistan’ Category

Like my title? *raises eyebrows* sound familiar? The bold and the beautiful Nooo.. it’s original! tehehehe

Happy b’day to you.. happy b’day to you.. happy b’day to you dear Osama.. Happy b’day to you.. Takbir.. ALLAHU AKBAR.. Takbir.. ALLAHU AKBAR.. Takbir.. ALLAHU AKBAR… tehehehehe he’s actually only turned fifty.. omg.. thought he’d be older!

We visited Paghman yesterday, it’s an hour away from the city of Kabul. It was much colder than Kabul (didn’t know it could get colder!). The striking difference i found was the taste in water. It actually had a taste! Mum had told me a while ago that Paghman water is the best tasting water. Touche!

I heard a song today on ‘Tolo’ by Daud Hanif, a song that’s dedicated to all Afghans that are living away from home. It was the first non-Ahmad Zahir song that i could actually relate to! My favourite line was ‘even a king away from home is a beggar…’ mmhmm… That’s very true! What do you think?

Found a job today! (Can’t conceal whereabouts, but it’s a good place!) Dad found it for me, thanks to his gov’t official connections *wink*. Since our arrival, he’s been spending all day, every day with gov’t ministers and officials. Catching up with his good ol’ mates from them good ol’ days! My paternal grandfathers cousin is also a current MP, fought during the Communist invasion, was an interim PM for a while after. Can’t wait to meet him in person, maybe exchange some ideas! He’s a man that stood shoulder to shoulder with Ahmad Shah Masood.

I guess this will sound like a COMPLETE BORE! but you know what? i actually enjoy listening to stories from when they fought against the Communists- the jihadi stories! it’s fascinating! You only ever hear about Ahmad Shah Masood on TV, but here i was listening to personal accounts from people who stood by him through thick and thin.

I spoke to a random elderly man today (i got the vibe that i could learn a lot from him!). He was a fast talker, i had to be extra attentive to comprehend. I approached him by asking how long he’d been in Afghanistan. Thirty five years! Basically, it was the first time i had received first hand information from someone who had experienced Afghanistan throughout the Communist invasion, the Taliban era and now the Karzai period. I heard the unexpected! He explained to me that never before had Afghanistan peace and security than it did when the Taliban were in ‘power’.

He explained there were no stealing, no bag snatchers. He told me that when it was time for prayer, shop attendants would leave their shops as it was and head off to the nearest Masjid (Mosque). They would return to their shops and find everything in the same state as they had left it. The Taliban promised shop owners that if anything went missing during this time, they would compensate for it. All this applied only if you were a man! It was a man’s world dominated by the men for the men. He stressed that women were under pressure, they weren’t allowed to be educated or be seen in public in anything else but a chadari, accompanied by a male relative.

I felt that he preferred the Taliban over the Karzai period. I asked him what he thought of the current regime. On the verge of frustration, he replied that it was only the wealthy and the powerful that recieved gov’t attention… the ‘chawki daarah’. The average Afghan hadn’t recieved any gov’t assistance. All the buildings, the roads, the hospitals, shopping centres etc were built by rich Afghans abroad who wanted to do something for their country.

Hmmmmm……

Until next time, ba omideh deedar.. Khuda negahdaar!

Read Full Post »

“Khurd asteen, kalaan mesheen. Peer asteen, jawaan mesheen. Khub ast ke da wattan (Afghanistan) amadeen.” (An elderly shopkeeper recited this to me)

*Translation: If you’re small, you’ll grow older. If your old, you’ll become younger. It’s good that you have returned to Afghanistan

It’s been exactly a week since our arrival at Kabul. It’s been a long trip, Malaysia, Islamabad, Peshawar and Kabul. We travelled by bus from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Pakistan- a country I’ve dreaded since I can remember! I can almost say I hate it! And to be quite honest, my nightmare was relived. I found most Pakistanis as being rude and racist towards Afghans (not to me, compliments to my ‘Australian’ identity and passport). Centre of corruption and bribery, money gets people through any situation, regardless of the legality or morality of their action. I guess it’s true when they say ‘money talks’. In this place, it yells! Basically, I didn’t like Pakistan because of the ill treatment of Afghans. Never before had I felt so unwelcomed as I did in Pakistan, not even Australia was so unwelcoming. I tell it like I see it, nothing more- nothing less!

We left for Kabul at 6am, feelings of excitement and anxiety had deprived me of sleep the night before. I couldn’t believe this was happening, I was going to see my country, my people for the first time. I grew up with my family who held immense passion for their country, witnessing tears as they told their stories longing to return home. I felt honoured going to Afghanistan (for some odd reason which only time could explain). I could only imagine how my parents felt returning to Afghanistan after thirty years.

We crossed the border at 2pm. To be blunt and to the point, I was impressed! Afghanistans natural beauty stood tall and proud. The mountains creating a spectacular skyline, covering the clouds. Despite the cold weather and the snow, flowers bloomed amongst green landscapes. Afghans have the tendency of exaggerating, but what I had seen already deserved every bit of praise it recieved.

We drove through Laghman and Jalalabad. Stopping over at Maahi Parr for lunch, the river flowed from the mountains. It was the prettiest sight ever! To cut a long story short, we eventually reached Kabul (duh!!).

I was even more surprised to see Kabul so ahead in infrastructure despite twenty odd years at war. Busy streets filled with young men and women dressed in NORMAL clothes. I found it extremely frustrating in Pakistan when going out! Girls can’t dress in normal (jeans etc) clothes because it isn’t the social norm there. Women were required to wear salwar kameez (punjabis) which I resented!! I didn’t want to blend in with the PAkistanis, I didn’t want to wear their clothes! So i dressed in long black abayas (was mistaken for an Arab a million and one times) or I’d wear long tops over trousers. Regardless of what you were dressed in, you’re bound to get pinched or bumped into ‘accidently’ by a man. I got bumped into ‘accidently’, I ended up punching the guy! (Later on I was told that punching a guy translated into a gesture of appreciation! What the…?)

Afghanistan was the exact opposite, Afghan men portrayed gentleman-like behaviour. Not once was I bumped into accidently. They did stare of course, as they probably could guess I had come new to Afghanistan. I fell in love with it almost immediately. Despite the dust, the mud and the cold weather.. I enjoyed every moment! It was my roots, I felt a sensation that is too overwhelming for words. One that can only be felt when you step foot on the soil of Afghanistan.

Alhamdullilah, all gratitude goes to Him for this journey!

Anyways, it’s 4am so i better sign out! I’ll write in some more… soon! Hey, at least i got the blog started 😛

Read Full Post »