Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.


Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


"All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."
Dale Carnegie
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet."
William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", Act 2 scene 2Greatest English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1616)
"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December."
James M. Barrie, (attributed)Scottish dramatist & novelist (1860 - 1937)
I borrowed pictures from an Afghan blogger who runs a blog called Afghan Lord. I provided a link. Here is his intro:

"My name is Nasim Fekrat and I'm 25 years old. I born in the land of pain and injustice. Whatever I want for myself, I wish for the others. I write from Kabul. I write what I see and what I hear. I am the winner of the in 2005 Freedom of Expression Blog Awards of RSF (Reporters without Borders) - France among seven Bloggers throughout the world. I am obviously a defender of freedom of expression and independent media free of threats and intimidation. I want to highlight the problems of my society in an independent manner, without fear and in a non-partisan manner in regards any group or political interest in Afghanistan."

He has gotten death threats so he is literally risking his life to speak out about issues that are really important. Topics such as women's rights, homeless children, drug addicted Afghans, and support for the U.S. campaign.

I chose the rose theme for 2 reasons. One is because the rose bush is a very popular over here in Kabul. You see them everywhere. Another reason is because of Muslims are celebrating Day of Ashura today and red is an appropriate color. I will not try and and attempt to explain the significance of Day of Ashura, for that I refer you again to the Wikapedia article on the topic. Part of the ceremony involves a flagellation ritual where a a chain is used to beat a persons chest and back. That is why a lot of pictures in the slideshow show people with their shirts cut open.
Nasim Fekrat's pictures also allow you to see another aspect of Kabul that I am not able to show you. For instance, here is a picture of group of people watching a cock fight, also known as Morgh Jangi.

Here is a photo that I thought was pretty funny. Imagine seeing this guy walk past you on the street.

Here is one of my favorites. It is an example of something beautiful persevering despite dark and gloomy weather all around.
Thanks for reading.

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