-Motto of the Baltimore Grotto (caving society)
Someone wanted to know more details of what happened yesterday. I included a link of a New York Times article. I was not involved but it was very close.
This will be a picture heavy post. All of the pictures were taken by Dr. Massoud Yawar. He was nice enough to let me post them on my blog. The captions that are in quotes are from the Survival Guide to Kabul. I copied it word-for-word excerpts.
Dr. Massoud has a great story about how he got the camera that he used to take all of these pictures. The BBC was asking people all over the world to write in and tell them why they should win a camera that they had as a prize. In his submission he explained that his country has gone through many years of war and now it is going through a massive reconstruction effort. He wanted to document the effects of war so the younger generation can see what it is like so they do not repeat it.
Here is just a small sample of some of the pictures that he let me use.
A shop that sells naan.
This is a very old and famous wall that divides Kabul. The walls are discussed a little further down in the Bala Hissar caption.
Cute kids playing with a tire.
"BALA HISSAR The ancient citadel and home of some of Afghanistan’s most important kings is now off limits and extremely dangerous owing to unexploded bombs and landmines. However this magnificent building dating, it is believed, in parts from the 5th century has played a role in every twist and turn in the city’s often violent history. Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city centre at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain. The famous Walls of Kabul, which are a staggering 20 feet high and 12 feet thick, start at the natural fortress and follow the mountain ridge in a sweeping curve down to the river. Bala Hissar was originally divided into two parts. The lower fortress where the stables, barracks and three royal palaces were contained and the upper fortress called Bala Hissar which housed the armoury and the infamous Black Pit, the dungeon of Kabul were situated. However the arrival of the British in Kabul marked the end of the citadel. From 1839 onwards the British used it on and off as their barracks until the massacre of the British Mission by mutinous Afghan troops in 1879. General Roberts was dispatched to Kabul to quell the situation and took the citadel. Shortly afterwards an explosion in the powder magazine partly destroyed upper Bala Hissar. General Roberts decided to finish the job off and ordered the destruction of the rest. Perhaps, however the last word lies with the founder of the Mogul empire, the Emperor Babur who captured the fort at the start of his conquering career and went on to write of the magnificent building: “The citadel is of surprising height, and enjoys an excellent climate, overlooking the large lake, and three meadows which present a very beautiful prospect when the plains are green.” Today the fortress is home to the 55th division of Kabul. The big green gates are adorned with photos of Karzai and Massoud. Visitors are not allowed in."
The Kabul Zoo.
A crowd formed when they saw this man with a big snake.
A market that sells birds and bird cages.
Kid selling balloons at the Kabul zoo.
No eye protection needed for this job.
You can get a little drink of chai at this shop.
Cobbler fixing some shoes.
Great picture of a goat.
Kid in wheel.
"KABUL ZOO Kabul Zoo is a soulless complex and is not a great place for its inhabitants. In 2002 China donated two lions, two bears, two pigs and a wolf. In addition there are a number of other species including nine bears, jackals, birds, rabbits, eagles, wild boars, foxes, guinea pigs, monkeys, owls and six huge vultures. In total the zoo has 116 animals and a staff of 60 to care for them. Conditions are poor but it is a popular place for Kabulis and up to 3000 people will visit during a week according to the director Sheragah Omar who has worked at the zoo for nine years. A British animal protection group, the Mayhew Animal Home in London, ensures there is enough food for the animals, and the 25 kilos of meat the two lions Zing Zong and Dolly eat every day. Zookeeper Aziz Ahmad is also an obliging guide with gruesome stories about the fate of the zoo’s last elephant (the elephants house is completely destroyed) and for a small tip will show you the final resting place of the zoo’s most famous resident, Marjan, the one-eyed lion. Donatella the famous bear is undergoing daily treatment for a nose infection from German ISAF. The zoo is open from 06.00--18.00 every day and entry costs five Afghanis."
Carrot juice anyone?
Public swimming pool in Herat. Of course women and girls are not allowed.
Child sleeping in a wheel barrel.
Here is the Darulaman Palace that was destroyed after years of war.
"DARULAMAN PALACE The palace built by King Amannullah in the 1920s is set into a small hill in front of the Kabul museum with the once impressive four-mile avenue (once lined with poplars) past the former Soviet embassy, schools and ministries leading to it. Fighting from 1992 onwards destroyed the building but it remains one of the most impressive, albeit shattered structures in Kabul. The palace was used by King Amannullah and was later used as the Justice ministry and Defence ministry. The equally striking former Defence Ministry is on the hills behind."
Would you go to this guy for your physiotherapy? I hope that those are not his patients.