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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan’

Please donate and help Badakhshan. 2500 killed and 3000 at risk.

It just takes 5 minutes and all you need is a credit/debit card or PayPal.

Charity strengthens your wealth!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_donations&business=Z28UD2RL5ED8N&lc=US&item_name=Badakhshan%20Landslide%20Victims%20Fund%20%2d%20PAYK&currency_code=USD&bn=PP%2dDonationsBF%3abtn_donateCC_LG%2egif%3aNonHosted

All proceeds go to victims

Please be generous.

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Okay so here I go…

The little fella is home 🙂 he has taken a few steps but I’m not sure if he’s fully walking just yet. He is off to Canada soon with his uncle and cousins. I’m happy for him. That kid is special. He has touched me deep within.  He really has.

I hope he grows up feeling loved and secure. I think that’s what’s most important. 

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So, not long after the Serena attack, came the third presidential elections since the demise of the Taliban.

I should have blogged about this earlier but I was too busy tweeting and had jumped on the election bandwagon.  Its been a fun ride! 

The turnout was faaantastic. Absolute victory for the afghans.  The queueing at the polling stations was impressive, take a look:

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Impressive, ain’t it?! Make no mistake, the women also turned up in large numbers (their queues just weren’t as tidy as the men’s).

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such perfect lines.

Okay,  enough about lines, some of the votes have been counted and Abdullah has scored 41 percent with Ashraf Ghani not too far off. It’s still way too early to establish patterns, and doesn’t say much.

Mid-May is when the final count will be announced.  I am hoping we won’t go into a run-off, deep down I don’t think it will go as peacefully as the April elections did.

In any case, regardless of who wins, the afghans have won. People exercised their right to vote. Democracy has won. The taliban have lost.

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German minister threatens to skip London Afghanistan conference
 
Monsters and Critics.com
Dec 28, 2009
Berlin – German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will refuse to attend next month’s conference on Afghanistan if its agenda is limited to discussing a troop surge, he said in an interview published Monday.
His remarks came only a day after the German defence minister said he favoured a withdrawal timetable, amid growing signs that the Germans may refuse to significantly enlarge their troop contingent.
‘If the Afghanistan conference in London turns purely into a conference on providing troops, I won’t be travelling there,’ said Westerwelle in an interview with the German weekly magazine Stern. The report appeared on Stern’s website.
He demanded a ‘broad political approach’ and an ‘overall strategy’ for the Afghanistan conflict.
Westerwelle added that it was ‘healthy’ that German voters were unenthusiastic about sending German troops abroad, saying, ‘If it were the other way round, I would be worried.’
Over the past month, Germany has dragged its feet in the face of calls from US President Barack Obama to help with a push to defeat the Taliban. Its defence minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, was quoted Sunday calling for a ‘concrete withdrawal strategy.’
‘I think it’s right to make clear to our citizens when the withdrawal is to begin, what objectives we are pursuing and which intermediate steps to achieve this are necessary,’ Guttenberg said.

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3.02pm. Listening to 92.9fm (Australian radio station). The song ‘according to you’ just blasted on.

I’m alone in the office, weather outside is cloudy and grim.

2days ago my sister, bro in law and a colleague along with the driver and bodyguard hit the roads to discover Kabul. We went to Darulaman Palace, Karteh 4 and Karteh 3. Darulaman Palace despite the rubble is still stunning!

Will post some pictures soon.

Work is quiet, which I kind of don’t mind. Normally I like being busy, busy, busy, busy!!! It’s still all good because I know it’s temporary 🙂

If things went as planned, today I would have been in Dubai and tomorrow in the US. Inshallah, Khair! So no regrets 🙂

Until next time…

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Afghanistan in pictures

Kabul-Torkham road, Daroonta area.USAID funded Kabul-Kandahar HighwayRoad signsMazar-Kabul roadSalang tunnel- the second highest in the worldMahi Par road

 

I love these. Panjsher had similar one, except you have to hold the cable and walk over it with no straps attached. You and the cable, and the fast running water beneath you. so much fun but scary at the same time.

Kapisa

Taxi ‘saracha’.

 Bamiyan

Car wash in Kabul

Daryayeh Kabul

Isn't he cute?

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A  man in his thirties suddenly threw himself on a busy road in Kabul and yelled, “kill me and drive over me.”

“They can’t feed us; the easier way is to kill me and my children. Oh people, for God’s sake, come and kill us,” shouted the apparently exhausted man lamenting the government’s failure to provide him with a livelihood.

Bodyguards of a former commander, disembarking from a luxury Jeep, were the first to respond to his call by kicking and hitting him with the butts of their Kalashnikovs. The armed men then dragged and removed him off the road. In utter disappointment, the man, in shabby cloths, started weeping like a child. Misery-Stricken

BEGGARS 

Beggars are the prime feature that draws the attention of tourists and foreigners who come out to the streets of Kabul. This is not the only way adopted by the misery-stricken people of this impoverished country to express their feelings about the awful circumstances they are passing through every day. When one goes shopping in the markets or walks in the streets of the Afghan capital, Kabul, he has to face swarms of beggars, old, young, burqa-clad women, and underage children, asking for alms money. A shopper has to talk to beggars more than anybody else while moving from a shop to a shop or from a street to a street of the capital city. Others, mostly disabled during the three decades of war and civil strife, have adopted a novel and more attractive way of begging—sitting in the middle of a road and displaying the chopped parts, usually hands or legs, of their body to attract the sympathy of the passers-by and motorists.

sense of pride among the people of this nation is fading away because of a government that is begging before the international community every now and then. The incumbent Afghan government has always been seen holding the bowl before every visiting foreign dignitary asking for “more assistance”.

President Hamid Karzai was on a tour to Copenhagen last year to attract support and assistance from Denmark. His visit coincided with the beginning of the row over the publication of the blasphemous cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Karzai told reporters that the stance of the Danish newspaper and government on the cartoon’s issue was understandable and completely convincing to him as a Muslim. These comments came at a very sensitive time when millions of Muslims were pouring into streets to condemn Denmark for its folly.

It was impossible for President Karzai to object the policies of his backers, especially in return for aid. Thereby, stuck between two options, whether to defend Islam’s precious values in a very sensitive time or to surrender to his donors’ demands, Karzai chose the second, proving that “beggars can’t be choosers”.

The biggest manifestation of change and development could be seen only in cities where high-rise stores, fashionable markets, and luxurious hotels have been built. But this just benefits the private investors and foreigners involved in the business.

There is less interest in investing in projects of long-term benefit to the country, such as launching factories, rebuilding the nation’s infrastructures, and taping of the country’s natural resources.

 Both investors and top government officials, who mostly have come from the West, are living like guests and have no intention to stay here for long. Even some ministers did not give up their foreign nationality and did not bring their families from abroad. They are sure that they have nothing to do with future of this country apart from their present personal interests. They are sure that they will leave or will be forced to leave as soon as the foreign occupation forces pull out of Afghanistan. Nobody in the government or among the investors really wants to rebuild this war-torn country.

So where does the $$ go?

Nobody knows what happens to the billions of dollars in aid and where this money is being spent. The answer could be found when you ask about the ownership of many of the lavish stores and hotels in the city. Most of them belong to the government’s bigwigs, former Mujahideen leaders, and a clandestine circle of mafia. When somebody is appointed to a high-level government job, he starts as ordinary man, but when he leaves the job, his kitty is bulging with money and he becomes a trader, a big investor, or at least has got bank accounts abroad. This fact can give an answer to where the money, begged in the name of this proud nation, goes.

 Another exit for the money is the presence of overwhelming number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The international donors do not trust the corrupt Afghan government, alternatively they pass the money to NGOs, most of them run by foreigners. NGOs, for their part, often spend most of the aid money on their personal needs, transportation, holidays, high staff salaries and renting comfortable guesthouses and offices. A small portion of the aid is thereby spent on improving the lives of Afghans.

 (Source: Bourhan Younous, ION.  2 January 2008)lrg-83-larawbar_loy_afghanistan__3_.jpg

A disheartening photo. I know it’s sad, but i can’t stop looking at this and feel deeply upset.

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