Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shuja: An Afghan Patriot.

If you let him, Shuja will show you the Kabul you never hear about, the dirt-poor, beautiful back street city, seething with millions of hopeful, helpful, warm and welcoming people.

On an errand one day, Shuja came upon an old Hazara man. His fruit cart had toppled so Shuja pulled out of traffic to help him pull his cart home. The man was desperately ill and the breadwinner in a large family. Shuja now gives the family $25 a month from his own meagre earnings.

Shuja sneers at the nervous, high-powered foreigners with their phalanxes of armed guards. Ask him if a particular errand is safe, or about the security in a particular place, and his answer is always the same: "Everywhere is dangerous. Everywhere is safe. This is Afghanistan."

- from my latest report, in the series. Another patriot: Robina Jalali. Read about these heroes and martyrs, then try and say that "we" in the "west" believe in democracy, but "they" don't. Go ahead. I dare you.


Blogger Raphael Alexander said...

Great story, as always. This is some of the only real journalism going on in Afghanistan.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Kaffir_Kanuck said...

That last near true democracy in the OIC which may be held as an example that Islam is compatible with the civilization created through enlightenment in the west is changing for the worst. As Turkey falls slowly from secularism into the more conservative and restrictive Shariaesque state, your hopes for a better future for Afghans seems impossible. For, if the basic human rights a democracy affords in a state like Turkey can be dismantled and undermined by Islam, how can there be hope for a fledging like Afghanistan?

Where Islam rules and is part of the law, there is no hope or future for women. Without tolerance, the radicalism fueled by Imams who simply repeat suras from the Quran to a largely illiterate and paternal society will beat down or kills the women who try to change a society too heavily indoctrinated by both cultural and religious paternalism. Our efforts make them Munāfiq.

4:13 PM  

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