Bamiyan Panorama

Bamiyan Panorama

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Somali Extremist Group Bans Samosas in Country

This is beyond rediculous - it is actually funny:

Somali Extremist Group Bans Samosas in Country

Published July 26, 2011
A powerful Muslim extremist group in Somalia banned samosas in the country because their three sides may remind people of the Christian Holy Trinity.  Members of Al-Shabaab recently boarded trucks with loudspeakers and announced that the popular pastries are banned in the country, UPI reported. The group did not fully explain its decision to ban the snack that is often filled with minced meats and vegetables, but witnesses told a local paper that their ubiquitous three-cornered shape may invoke thoughts on the Holy Trinity, according to the report.

The Islamic militant group, which controls wide swaths of the country, bans music and watching sports on TV.
The ban comes at a time where 800,000 children could die in a famine that reaches across the Horn of Africa. Aid workers are rushing to bring help to dangerous and previously unreached regions of drought-ravaged Somalia.
The United Nations estimates that more 11 million people in East Africa are affected by the drought, with 3.7 million in Somalia among the worst-hit because of the ongoing civil war in the country.

Somalia's prolonged drought became a famine in part because neither the Somali government nor many aid agencies can fully operate in areas controlled by al-Qaida-linked militants, and the U.N. is set to declare all of southern Somalia a famine zone as of Aug. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Development Plans for Kabul as told by the Governor's website


Publish Date: Jul 03, 2011
Description:  This sector has total 15 projects, and all projects are with high priority.
NoName and Details of ProjectLocation
1Construction of sub streets and bridges from district centers to villages
Khak-e-Jabar, Kalakan, Surobi, Chahar Asyab, Bagrami, and Shakardara
2Providing potable drinking water by digging up wells and establishing water networks
Musahi, Qarabagh, Paghman, Guldara, Farzah, and Khak-e-Jabr
3Construction of turn up dams and water reservoirs
Paghman, Guldara, Chahar Asyab, Surobi,  and Farzah
4Cleaning and rehabilitating of Karizes and concreting of Kariz’s tops
Mirbachakot, Kalakan, Qarabagh, Khak-e-Jabar and Chahar Asyab
5Distribution of certified seeds and fertilization and machinery services
Shakardara,Surobi,Paghman, Chahar Asyab, Guldara, Farzah, Bagrami And Khak-e-Jabar
6Construction of Public cold storages for keeping up the fruits and vegetablesQarabagh, Estalif, Shakardara, Kalakan, Surobi, Khak-e-Jabar,Musahi, Bagrami, and Paghman
7Construction of retaining wall along river and flood
Qarabagh, Estalif, Kalakan, Surobi, khak-e-Jabar, Musahi, Bagrami, Paghman, and Shakardara
8Reforming of gardening system to modern system
Paghman, Surobi, Shakardara, guldara, and farzah
9Reforming of vine keeping system to modern system in 8 districts
Mirbahchakot, Kalakan, Farzah, Qarabagh, guldara, Farzah, Shakardara, and DehSabz
10Reforming of livestock by impregnation veterinary clinicsSurobi, DehSabz, Kalakan, Guldara, Farzah, and Mirbachakot
11Construction of basic bridges over the riverEstalif, Kalakan, Mirbachakot, and Musahi
12Construction of and concreting of drainages
Surobi, Chahar Asyab, khak-e-Jabar, Kalakan, Estalif and Farzah
13Construction of retaining wall along the river
Farzah, Estalif, Paghman, Surobi, and Musahi
14Construction and extension of water network from Parwan to ShakardaraKalakan, Mirbachakot, and Shakardara
15Establishing of agriculture cooperativesKhak-e-Jabar, Surobi, Musahi, farzah, Guldara, and Deh Sabz


Publish Date: Jul 03, 2011
Description: This sector has total 18 projects, and all projects are with high priority.
NoName and Details of ProjectLocation
1Admitting of Qala-e-Musa-e-Qarabagh, Zema, Kalakan, Kamari, and khojja Mosafer-e-Paghman Clinics in PCH programKalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman districts
2Construction and admission of Bagh-e-Aroq CHC of Qarabagh in PCH program, and Establishing ambulance service in Barik Ab refugee town in QarabaghBagh-e-Aroq’ Qarabagh
3Prompting Chahar Asyab 20 beds hospital to 30 beds and construction of building for Chahar Asyab public hospital Chahar Asyab center
4Promoting of Bagrami CHC to CHC+ and Establishing Ambulance serviceWalayati villageBagrami
5Promoting of Khak-e-Jabar CHC to CHC+Khak-e-Jabar district center
6Promoting of Shakardara CHC to CHC+ and Admitting of Shakardara 20 beds clinic to PCH programShakardara district center
7Establishing 30 beds hospital in PaghmanPaghman district center
8Promoting Deh Naw CHC to CHC+Deh Naw Guldara
9Construction of clinic building and Establishing CHC+ and Sub center in Bostan villageFarzah District
10Promoting CHC to CHC beds Clinic in Pol-e-SangiDeh Sabz
11Construction of Deh yahya clinic building and its admission of this clinic and Baba Qoshqar clinic in PCH programDeh Yahya, Deh Sabz
12Promoting of Meya Khil CHC to CHC+Musahi
13Establishing a 20 beds traumatic center  
Surobi center
14Construction of Goga Monda CHC building and establishing ambulance serviceSurobi, Guga Monda
15Promoting CHC to CHC+ in Estalif   Estalif Bed


Publish Date: Jul 03, 2011
Description: This sector has total 15 projects, and all projects are with high priority.
NoName and Details of ProjectLocation
1Construction of primary girls schoolKhak-e-Jabar district
2Construction of 8 classes primary schoolGhazi Abad
3Construction of 3 high schools
Naw  Abad, Charkh Abad, Gulbuta villages in Bagrami
4Construction of one schoolUlya Shams, Chahar Asyab
5Repairing of Koti Setara in Bagh-e-OmomiPaghman
6Establishing, and constructing two schoolsKhak-e-Jabar
7Construction of 10 buildings for education directoratesBagrami
8Establishing and constructing of 4 schoolsIn 10 districts of Kabul province
9Construction of water reservoirs in 9 schoolsMusahi
10Establishing two new school in Alokhil DamMusahi
11Construction of two school for girlsMusahi
12Construction of cultural centers in all 14 districtsAll 14 districts of Kabul province
13Rehabilitation of Estalif bed and HotelEstalif
14Construction of 6 girls schoolsKalakan
15Construction of one religious school( Darul Ulom)Mirbachakot


Publish Date: Jul 03, 2011
Description: In this sector there is total 25 projects are included, which 15 projects of them has high priority and 10 projects has low priority.
NoName and Details of ProjectLocation
1Asphalting of road in Musahi district, 12KM from Kabul Logar road to MusahiMusahi district
2Asphalting of road, 11KM from Beni Hessar to Bagrami DistrictBagrami district
3Asphalting of road from Deh Yahya to Deh Sabz districtDeh Sabz
4Construction of Surobi energy network system (whole Surobi)Surobi district
5Transferring energy cable from Hodkhil station to Deh Sabz and its villagesDeh Sabz
6Survey and construction of Sardara village Dam in Estalif
7Survey and digging of Parwan Canal from Panjshir river to Koh Daman districts of Kabul province
8Providing energy power for Bagrami district (whole district)
9Construction of retaining wall over Paghman river
10Construction of retaining wall over along Logar river
11Construction of retaining wall over Esterghich riverQarabagh district
12Construction of 600M retaining wall in Bagh-e-Alam villageQarabagh district
13Construction of 4KM retaining wall over Farzah riverFarzah district
14Construction of retaining wall in Aqa Sarai and Chamcha Mast viallages, (Asphalting of Aqa Sarai road to the center should be replaced with retaining wall)Kalakan district
15Construction of retaining wall over Estalif riverQarabagh district

All this can be found on the website of the Kabul GovernerI'm looking forward to researching these and seeing what steps are taken to attain these goals. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cynical view on Somalia? Or realistic? Even accurate?

Famine we could avoid
To pin the Somalia crisis on drought is wrong. This is an entirely predictable, man-made disaster

John Vidal, 

Somali woman holds child
An internally displaced Somali woman fleeing from the drought gripping the Horn of Africa holds her child inside their makeshift shelter in Mogadishu. Photograph: Ismail Taxta/Reuters
A massive drought, as if out of nowhere, has settled over the Horn of Africa and the people fleeing to the camps are said to be "climate", "drought" or "environmental" refugees. The land, we are told by the international agencies rushing relief to the region, can no longer support its people.
Fifty or so years ago, the region had regular 10-year climatic cycles which were mostly followed by a major drought, and now the droughts are coming more frequently and are lasting longer. In the 1970s, say the pastoralists – the nomadic herders who move their cattle ceaselessly across the region in search of pasture – they started having droughts every seven years; in the 1980s they came about every five years and in the 1990s every two or three. Since 2000 there have been three major droughts and several dry spells, this one being not the worst, just the latest. "There is no doubt that it is hotter and drier now," said Leina Mpoke, a Maasai vet I met working on the Kenya-Ethiopia border that is now on the frontline of disaster.
There is also no doubt that climate change will make these areas of Africa harder to live in in future. But to pin this crisis on drought or climate change is wrong. This is an entirely predictable, traditional, man-made disaster, with little new about it except the numbers of people on the move and perhaps the numbers of children dying near the cameras. The 10 million people who the governments warn are at risk of famine this year are the same 10 million who have clung on in the region through the last four droughts and were mostly being kept alive by feeding programmes.
The fleeing Somalis seen on TV are the same people the UN warned about in 2008 when it said that one in six were at risk of starvation. Josette Sheeran, head of the UN's world food programme, appealed for $300m emergency aid this week – just as she did in 2008 when she told of "a silent tsunami [of hunger] gathering". And the same governments who were slow to respond to the emergency then are the ones who have been unwilling to help now.
Nor was the crisis unexpected. The rains failed early this year in Kenya and Ethiopia, and there has been next to none for two years now in Somalia. Aid agencies and governments have known for almost a year that food would run out by now. But it is only now, when the children begin to die and the cattle have been sold or died that the global humanitarian machine has moved in, with its TV shows, co-ordinated appeals and celebrities. Why did it not go earlier? Because it takes months to prepare properly for a disaster.
Just as in 2008, the war in Somalia is primarily responsible for the worst that is happening. As Simon Levine of the Overseas Development Institute says: "Wars don't kill many people directly but can kill millions through the way they render them totally vulnerable to the kinds of problems they should be able to cope with." In this case, he says, people have lost all their assets and can't access grazing grounds they need. But remember too, that Somalia has been made a war zone by the US-led "war on terror". It's our fault as much as anyone's.  (fact or opinion?)
But another, more insidious war has also been taking place across the region. This one is being waged by governments and businesses against the pastoralists. Over the years, they have been steadily marginalised and discriminated against by Ugandan, Kenyan and Ethiopian governments, and now they are further jeopardised by large-scale farming, the expansion of national parks, and game reserves and conservation.
For the politicians in Kampala, Nairobi or Addis, the lifestyle of these people seems archaic and outmoded. They are said to be outside mainstream national development, and to be pursuing a way of life that is in crisis and decline. So the politicians think little of taking away their dry season grazing grounds or blocking their traditional routes to pasture land. However, as seen in major international studies, the pastoralists produce more and better quality meat and generate more cash per hectare than "modern" Australian and US ranches.
Instead of starving the region's people of funds and then picking up the pieces in the bad years – as governments must do now – Britain, the EU, the US and Japan must help people adapt to the hotter, drier conditions they face. With better pumps and boreholes, better vaccination of cattle, help with education, food storage and transport, people can live well again.
This emergency will cost the west around $400m. If this money was put into long-term development instead of emergency aid and feeding programmes that keep people just above starvation, this tragedy could have been avoided. Instead, the world is almost certain to be here again in one or two years' time. Next time, though, there will be no excuses.

Interesting take on this crisis.  How sad that people are at risk of death, malnutrition, and starvation for so many years while not much long term help is being done.  Are we complacent?  Do we not care?  Should we care?  I think we should. 

Afghan Mast Mix by DJ Hamza

My favorite song on this mix is 'beya ke borem ba mazar' which is the first song. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Helmand Province business park - is this a good idea?

Bost Agri-Business Park – a beacon for business potential

25 May 2011
An innovative new business park will unlock the immense business potential of Helmand Province in Afghanistan, creating hundreds of new jobs and safeguarding existing ones. The park is part of a wider package of aid from the UK to Helmand province, where about a fifth of the UK’s aid to Afghanistan is targeted.
Work is due to start imminently on the new park, which is on the outskirts of Helmand’s commercial capital Lashkar Gah. 
Bost building site. PIcture: Mott MacDonald Artist's impression of how the business park will look. Picture: Mott MacDonald
Before and after: What the site looks like now and an artist's impression of how the park will look once completed. Pictures: Mott MacDonald

Once the initial clearance has been done and basic services installed, work is planned quickly to move onto the next stage of construction where offices, warehouses and processing units will be constructed. It is expected that the first businesses will be able to open their doors to customers in the autumn.
The park will be the newest and one of the most hi-tech of its kind in Afghanistan. It will be situated beside the upgraded Bost Airport, also rehabilated by the UK, which now has regular commercial flights linking it with the rest of Afghanistan.
The park will have potential for up to 15 businesses, creating 750 jobs directly, and creating a further 3,000 wider jobs which will the park will support via improved access to markets.
An artist's impression of how the whole park will look. Picture: Mott MacDonald 
An artist's impression of the new business park. Picture: Mott MacDonald
In addition, UK investment will include detailed business advice to 25 small or medium-sized enterprises, and 75 community enterprises – leading to a further 500 jobs in Helmand.
DFID is also starting a new programme of vocational training in Helmand which will train 12,000 students in vital skills in such as electrics, plumbing, welding and plastering allowing the next generation of Afghans the opportunity to earn an income and to lift themselves out of poverty.

(and another semi-related article...)

Afghanistan: The '$1m houses' of Lashkar Gah

Building site of luxury apartment in Lashkar Gah 

Lashkar Gah is changing. The city has become a building site, as offices, factories and houses are rapidly constructed.
Some of the houses are in fact so luxurious that they are reportedly being sold for between $500,000 and $1m (£310,000-£620,000).
Parts of the city in this war-ravaged southern Afghan province are experiencing a property bubble.
"You should have bought here three years ago - you'd have made a fortune," says the Governor of Helmand, Gulab Mangal, with a broad smile.
The most expensive homes are being built next to the heavily fortified Helmand Police Command Centre, giving the owners a sense of security.
Inside its walls, Maj Wes Hughes from the Gurkhas leads a small team mentoring the local police. He says that working with other agencies of the Afghan Security forces, they are capable of protecting Lashkar Gah.
"They provide a real depth of security that Isaf can never provide because it's an Afghan face; a local Afghan recruited into his local police force providing security."
All the young generations are jobless; they are going to join the Taliban, they are going to mix with the terrorists”
Mohammad Noburishan Lashkar Gah resident

The police, who appear to be present on every major street in Lashkar Gah, are constantly praised for their bravery, their willingness to engage the insurgents.
A grisly collection of blown-up vehicles in the compound is testimony to the courage required to be a policeman in Helmand.
But they also remain - in large part - illiterate and corrupt. The going rate for securing a post as district police chief in rural parts of Helmand is around $50,000, according to Maj Hughes.
"Corruption is endemic within the culture. There is an Afghan saying: 'You join the Afghan army for prestige; you join the Afghan police for money'. It certainly rings true from what I've seen."
Corruption within the police not only undermines confidence in the force, it also undermines its capacity. Western military officers estimate that 10-30% of police in some Helmand districts don't actually exist - though their salaries are paid.
In addition, more than 800 officers have still to be recruited in the province. It is little wonder therefore that the head of the command centre, Col Ismail, says he needs 500 more officers to successfully police Lashkar Gah.
"We need more police. We also require armoured vehicles and modern weapons. And we need more, better training as well."
Security handover
It all creates a certain sense of nervousness among the people of Lashkar Gah. At one of the city's radio stations, Radio Sabawoon, there is a daily phone-in programme called What Helmand Wants.
A family rides on a motorcycle in Lashkar Gah There is a sense of nervousness among the people of Lashkar Gah about security
The station's director, Mirius Fatsoon, says many people call to complain about security.
"The people worry about many issues, for example we don't have professional people in the army. If suicide bombers can blow themselves up in the Ministry of Defence in Kabul [as happened in April] how can the Afghan army possibly hope to establish security here?"
The founder of the radio station, Baryalai Helmand, puts it succinctly. "Two years back security was worse than it is now. But we don't feel secure."
In the three months between April and June this year, there were more than twice as many security incidents in Lashkar Gah as in the same three-month period last year, the BBC was told.
"The city itself is a thriving hub, an economy, with growing governance and security. Within Lashkar Gah city, there isn't even an insurgency but there is terrorism," says Lt Col Alistair Aitken, commanding officer of 4 Scots, The Highlanders, who are providing protection around Lashkar Gah.
Once protection of the city centre becomes the responsibility of the Afghan security forces later this week, the international community will begin preparing the rest of Helmand for a similar transition - and for sustaining the reconstruction effort.
Vast sums of foreign money have been spent on large infrastructure projects - roads, schools and health clinics being the most noticeable. The problem is finding the staff to run and maintain them.
  • In Musa Qala district in northern Helmand there are 14 schools but only four qualified teachers
  • Of the 44 health clinics that dot the province, only one has a female doctor
  • Only 22 of the thousands of police officers in the province are women
  • Last year just eight people from Helmand - which has a population of 1.4 million - went to university.
Down by the Helmand River, where people bathe and bicycles are cleaned, one young passionate man, Mohammad Noburishan, told me: "All the young generations are jobless. They are going to join the Taliban; they are going to mix with the terrorists.
"If you make good jobs, if you build factories, the young people will do their work and they won't have time for [such] useless works."
Helmand's Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is aware of the challenges and is now turning its attention to fostering the private sector.
A vocational training college opened last month, funded by the Department for International Development, and there are plans to create an agri-business park near the airport.
Michael O'Neil, head of the PRT, says building a professional class is a key challenge.
"That capacity [of Afghans to deliver services] has a long way to go, there is still a lot more to do, but it's a big focus of our efforts, so that things are sustainable into the future."

The first article seems to be a wonderful idea!(from a British/Western viewpoint anyway)  Build a business park, create jobs!  But is it a good idea?  What do you think?  Can an idea like that work in today's Afghanistan? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Afghan Star & Afghanistan in the 80's

Afghan Star was made in 2009.  This documentary is interesting and i'd recommend it:  it shows many aspects of daily life in Afghanistan that you wouldn't normally see.

Here's the website.

You can also watch in streaming live on Netflix (while you still have the chance - ha!)

Here is an excerpt from the documentary showing a slice of life from the 1980's in Kabul. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Help the Somalian drought refugees!

If you have any money to spare, please donate it to any NGO/Non Profits that are helping the Somalian civilians who are starving and are refugees.  Please do your own research to make sure where your money is going. 

*update - here is an aid organization that seems to be doing great things:  click on this link > HIJRA

These are pictures from the BBC of a refugee camp in Kenya.

Two-year-old, Aden Salaad, looks up toward his mother, unseen, as she bathes him in a tub at a Doctors Without Borders hospital, where Aden is receiving treatment for malnutrition, in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya

Nado Mahad Abdilli builds a makeshift shelter for her family in Iffou 2

Somali parents care for their young children who are being treated for malnutrition, at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya.

Afghanistan - 60's and 70's - part three

Hi there!  More photos from Afghanistan before the wars.  This post is showing mainly infastructure, factories, industry, etc....  

An agricultural factory in Badam Bagh. 

Factory in Mazar-e-Sharif

Factory in Gulbahar

Factory in Mazar-e-Sharif

Jalalabad dam - built in the 60's

Construction in Kabul

Kabul, 1977 (William Borders/NYT)
Kabul 1977

taken sometime in the 70's.

Кабул - Кабул
The caption said 'VIA Flames performing at a party'.  1983
Кабул - Кабул
Restaurant Amin (?) 1983

Кабул - Кабул
artwork for sale  1983

Кабул - Кабул
Kabul (Spinzar?) 1983

And, sorry to end on a bad note, this was taken in 1992. This pile of books is about to be burned and destroyed. This was done by the Mujaheddin/Taliban.

To read about the precious gems of Afghanistan go here.

To see a video clip showing Afghanistan in the 80's click here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Please enjoy the Afghan music while your party is reached

Here's some fun music in both Pashto and Dari.  Enjoy! 

*disclaimer - some of the music videos are extremely corny, but I like the music itself*

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Burqa in Afghanistan

Up until 1996 when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan you could see any of these
types of outfits worn:

(no head covering, head covering, or burqa)

The full Afghan chadri (burqa) covers the wearer's entire face except for a small region about the eyes, which is covered by a concealing net or grille.
Before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the chadri was infrequently worn in cities. While they were in power, the Taliban treatment of women required the wearing of a chadri in public. Officially, it is not required under the present Afghan regime, but local warlords still enforce it in southern Afghanistan. Burqa use in the remainder of Afghanistan is variable and is observed to be gradually declining in Kabul. Due to political instability in these areas, women who might not otherwise be inclined to wear the chadri must do so as a matter of personal safety.   (wikipedia)


Burqa-chadari, is a full body and head covering for outside the home for many women in Afghanistan. The Burqa is constructed of about ten yards fabric with an embroidered mesh face piece which conceals the entire women's dress ensemble of pants, overdress, and head scarf.
The burqa is not only worn in Afghanistan but it's more common in other countries including India and Pakistan. The original chadari has Persian origins but over the time period it became associated with the urban dress of middle and upper class Afghan women. The chadaree has been incorrectly attributed as Afghan women's traditional dress but it only became mandated women's wear after dress sanctions were imposed by the Taliban in 1996.

During the Taliban women had to wear this piece of heavy cloth on top of their normal clothing to cover them from the head to lower calf or to ankle. In the first days when the Taliban captured Kabul and announced that all women have to wear 'Chadaree' outside of home, many women were shocked, especially in the capital Kabul. They wondered how they were going to wear 3 pounds of extra weight of clothes on top of their formal and informal clothing. It was really difficult for the women who had never worn it before.

I was living in Kabul during that time and I witnessed many women falling off bicycles and being hit by cars when their burqa-Chadari went under the tire of the bicycle. Also, injuries occured when they were transported on the back of the cycle and their Chadari got caught in the spokes. Women also frequently simply tripped and fell because it was cumbersome to walk in. After a couple months of wearing this piece of cloth on a daily basis, Afghan women got used to wearing it. Every woman, including my mom and my female relatives experienced the problems of wearing the Chadari during the hot summer times and cold, icy, slippery winter times. The toughest times for wearing this blue huge piece of cloth was the hottest days of the summer when the temperature was around 46 Celsius which is about 114 Fahrenheit and every woman had to have their normal clothing as well as the chadari on top.

The air circulation of the burqa-chadari is very poor and there is a small mesh face piece on the front top part so the wearer can barely see the pathway. Due to lack of air in 114 Fahrenheit hot weather, women who have shortness of breath or Asthma often faint on the streets. During the five years of the Taliban regime every single woman has experienced the problems of wearing the Chadari in Afghanistan. After the fall of Taliban in 2001, a small percentage of women, mostly in Kabul, were free from wearing this blue piece of cloth. Around other parts of Afghanistan still the culture of wearing burqa remains as some Afghan women are forced to wear the 'burqa-chadari' whether by their families or the society laws.

Blue 1

Friday, July 08, 2011

'Love Crimes of Kabul' - coming out July 11th

A documentary about three women imprisoned for 'moral crimes' is coming out July 11th on HBO.  I'm looking forward to seeing it!  The only synopsis I can find is a little cheesy, but here it is from

Jailed for running away from home to escape abuse, for allegations of adultery, and other “moral crimes,” the women of Afghanistan’s Badum Bagh prison band together to fight for their freedom. The film follows three young prisoners as they go to trial, revealing the pressures and paradoxes that women in Afghanistan face today, and the dangerous consequences of refusing to fit into society’s norms. Their defiant actions come to be seen as threats to the very fabric of society, and their acts of self-determination as illegal. Will life outside prison enable these women to experience the freedom they desire? Filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian brings us into the lives of these “outsiders,” and we watch as teenage romantics learn to become steely-eyed negotiators in an effort to secure their future, brokering their freedom with courage, charm, and skill. This HBO Documentary Film premieres on HBO on July 11, 2011.

Also, here is the official website for the documentary.  HBO - Love Crimes of Kabul

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Support and promote Afghan artists

This website is a virtual gallery for artists in Afghanistan.  The site creators want to show the talent in Afghanistan instead of the war and chaos that we normally see on the news. 

Be sure to click on the link and see the galleries of paintings and drawings, as well as information about the artists and how to donate to promote the artists. 

Virtual Gallery for Afghan Artists

Friday, July 01, 2011

Attan - the national dance of Afghanistan

(this one is from 1978, probably for Afghan TV)

Attan is a traditional Afghan dance. Done by both men and female.  It is said to be one of oldest Afghan Pagan dance, some identify Attan as an a religious ceremony of early Zoroastrians placing it 2000 BCE, and some have placed even older going back to King Yama's celebration of Nowroz and warriors dancing and circling around the fire. King Yama was the first Afghan king dating back to 3500 BCE. This was later modified into an Islamic dance to allow the dancers to get 'closer to God' this virtual Attan practised by many Afghan poets and mystics had even reached to corners of Turkey, Europe known as the Rumi Dance. It is performed usually with a Dhol, which is a double-headed barrel drum. The dance can be anywhere from 5 minute to 30 minutes long. There are many different kinds of Attan most famous are Kabuli, Paktiyaya (Done by Pakthiwals is more complex), Mazari, Kandahari, Sistani, Herati, Pashayi, and Nuristani.