A look into Afghanistan
Trip Start Nov 14, 2007
92Trip End Apr 20, 2009
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A group of Hazari men, drinking a few stubbies in the bazaar while on leave from work in Kabul (where they are electrical engineers), were particularly keen to talk with us. Hazarans are Dari (related to Persian) speaking descendents of Mongols, and as far as phenotypes go, not what you 'dial up' when you think 'Afghan'
"Afghanistan was safe", and "we must go to Kabul" they said,
"There are some problems, but they are in the South and West" they said.
"You must think that there is security problem, but no problems..."
"There are many tourists.....you must come to Bamiyan! Very special history. Soooo many tourists!" They said.
Any anguish you might expect from a Kabulstani, let alone a Hazari (severely persecuted by the Taliban due to being mainly Shia), at the present time was not at all evident despite my probing (I had only two days ago read, on arriving in Khorog, a BBC report suggesting the Taliban insurgency had never been closer to Kabul.). But I had decided that this was more than a stoic display and that they were genuinely hopeful. I found it interesting as the conversation transpired that despite not seeming to know anything of the state of the insurgency they knew that Australian troops where in Orugzan province and knew with precision where every other nation's peacekeepers were located
I couldn't help thinking what these blokes, so obviously despising of the Taliban, had done for the years that the Taliban held sway. To think, that at the very least, to not grow a beard was punishable by imprisonment and lashings.
It seemed a miracle to me that they were even alive! Which snowballed into acknowledgement of the millions of miracles that must have happened in Afghanistan in the last decades; Which snowballed into the millions of miracles, which in all probabilities, are still needed.
We said goodbye to the Hazari men and bought half a kilo of pears from a beautiful Afghan woman and her son before heading back to the main road.