A Friday in Kabul

The view from Television Mountain as the city begins to stir.

Dog fighting is very popular, it is believed every Minister has at least two champion dogs.

The father of these boys wanted their portrait taken after Friday Prayers.  The Imam spoke about the importance of family and teaching children about prayer.

Buz Kashi is the national sport of Afghanistan.  This match was wild and unruly, the horses repeatedly went between parked cars and had spectators fleeing for safety.

Sun setting during the end of the day drive.

Sunset Over Kabul

Kabul is a city of nearly 4 million people, with dirt roads, extensive construction and primitive heating due to sporadically available electricity throughout the day.  The air quality is diminished greatly from a combination of desert dust with the exhaust of diesel powered generators and cars that clog the streets of the capital nestled between mountains.

Despite the possibility of respiratory problems, the pollution does create a stunning sunset.

The Afghan Populist

Dr. Ramazan Bashardost during an interview in his office that has a view of the destroyed Darul Aman Palace sitting high on its perch.  A populist who’s motivated by fighting corruption and the influence of those who have controlled his country for past 40 years: Afghanistan’s elite families, warlords and communists, Dr. Bashardost wants to see the future of Afghanistan handed over to the next generation of leaders.

Traveling to Kabul

Travel is an adventure, but not always under your control.

It took eight days to get to Kabul, when normally two is required.  The culprits for the prolonged itinerary included a faulty fuel gauge, Madonna, five inches of snow in London and the not so helpful philosophy of Virgin airlines.  If complaining did any good then I would have plenty to say, but I’m playing the part of an optimist, because travel is an adventure remember.

Where else would I get the chance to sleep on the floor of Heathrow’s Terminal 4 with six new friends?  And get a free foil blanket?  I learned how the airline industry operates in crisis mode and have come to truly appreciate the value of Skype.  And of course there was the wonderful opportunity to spend time with old friends in London.

In the end I made it to Kabul, and its quite possible the enhanced anticipation made me appreciate the view of the Hindu Kush with greater awe.  Flying into Kabul is an impressive sight.

A Quick Pitch

“The Afghan Project” is a work in progress documentary about development of the Ministry of Mines and its endeavors to tap into vast mineral riches to establish a new economic future for  Afghanistan.

While security and political uncertainty in the country continue to dominate headlines, the government in Kabul is focused on attracting development and securing bids for mineral deposits estimated at $1 trillion.  Will this be a gold rush for Afghanistan, or will it reinforce the instability and corruption that have defined the country for decades?