The picture on the right is Ahmad Shuja standing where the great Buddha statue once could be seen in Afghanistan. His latest post, Greetings from Bamian, tells us what he is doing there. My first thought was that this can’t be the safest of journeys for an Afghan teenager, but he assures us “Bamian is the safest of all provinces in Afghanistan. And if all goes well, I will hopefully be back home [in Pakistan] in after a week.” Let’s hope he will be.
I note Ahmad is a Hazara. In a Diary-X entry for 30 August 2004 (saved to disk!) I wrote:
# Been reading a really good book: The Kite Runner by Afghan-American Khaled Hosseini is beautifully written and should have been compulsory reading during the “children overboard”/Tampa affair – except it couldn’t have been, having been published in 2003. But a wonderful corrective to demonisation it remains, as well as an indictment of both the Taliban and the preceding communists. One is also left in no doubt about the difficulties of the Hazara people of Afghanistan, though I suppose it is kind of comforting to know racism is not just a European phenomenon…
I wonder if Ahmad has read it. He probably has. If so, I wonder what he thinks of it.
Update 30 November