Sunday, August 20, 2006

Kabul is still beautiful

Most Afghan-Americans, when coming to Afghanistan felt very far away, hungrily gleaned their information from family stories, and books by non-Afghans. Tom Goutierre helped with his Journal of Afghanistan and the Duprees helped with their anthropological books.

I recently purchased ‘An Historical Guide to Afghanistan’ by Nancy Hatch Dupree, from a little kid on the street. It was published in 1970 and it simultaneously makes me happy that it was written, we need to be reminded that it is possible to have prosperity and peace; and heartbreakingly sad, we’re so far away from 1970 Kabul.

I can’t help but be sad when I read this:

The city is ringed with mountains, gleaming emerald green in spring; glistening white in winter. Even in summer barrenness they have an ever-changing beauty, turning from deep purple to brilliant pink under the rising and setting sun.

I guess (and hope), years from now, when Kabul’s mountains are emerald green and glistening white again (Inshallah), I can say, I loved you when you were dusty, brown, dirty, and cloaked in desperate hope.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

"cloaked in desperate hope."

Your writing is beautiful, too.

Pakistani? Neighbor said...

Your last paragraph is particularly touching. Reading your stuff does make me feel a mix of emotions that I can dissect into a romantic longing for days gone by and days to come.

I went to Pakistan Indi Day event here, last night. And I felt it there, too. But it's hard to acknowledge it. Life has twisted and turned in ways mapquest never warned me. I look at my still enthusiastic brothers and sisters and I know that while I may have once been that enthusiastic about Pakistan (well not THAT enthusiastic), I am not so much, now. But I do have some longings, still.

I think it is like cleaning my closet and finding my a favorite dress in a sunset shade of red and purple from high school days - thinking it is beautiful - fondly remembering wearing it - then determinedly placing it into the donation box - I know I'll never wear it again.

Okay, maybe I won't donate it. Maybe I'll put it in the back of my closet and keep it, just in case.

But just in case what? It is hard to imagine that I will be close to Pakistan one day, again. But I do acknowledge that there are no guarantees on what the future will bring me.

Okay, so I wrote this all out and I realize your on a wayyyy different plain then me with your Afghanistan sentiments. I do wish you the best with it and I pray it works. I do believe the right people doing the right thing can make it better.

homeinkabul said...

PN, I think we diaspora children will always have such longings. I miss my family in the U.S. and it's odd, being here in my homeland, but far away from my family, the roots of my culture.

It's good to be enthusiastic but also, not so bad if you're not - I don't believe in guilt and while I would love if all Afghans from everywhere came back, it's just not possible. I hope they do though.

Anonymous/PN?: thanks for the compliment

omg said...

hey - My comment up there wasn't supposed to be anonymous. Oops.

homeinkabul said...

Thanks O!

Anonymous said...

Believe me, it's not just you diaspora kiddies that struggle to reconcile attachments to different places. Admittedly I chose to start wandering the world and working in different countries (as opposed to you guys who don't get that choice), but leaving countriess where you have worked - frequently in desperately poor, challenging places where you build quikcly intimate and extremely strong attachments is so, so hard! I think it's the same sense of familiarity without familiarity, wanting to belong without really being able to.

Pakistani? Neighbor said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for sharing. Hearing your thoughts on these "longing" feelings from a non-diaspora person helps put my own thoughts in perspective.

homeinkabul said...

thanks for the post on my blog! wow imagine what it would have been like if we'd had this nifty thing in high school! I was thinking about you but have been so busy. Please forgive me!!! Anyway email me so we can catch up - got new news for you (soccer news): mustakeem5@yahoo.com

Miss ya

Sowande'

***Sowande' - I'm anonymous on this blog, so I edited your post to delete my name***