This post comes to you from the heart of
Asia, roof of the world, and, sadly, a used-to-be treasure trove of Buddhist relics, Bamian. Yes, I’m writing to you from an internet café located under the majesty of the remains of the giant Buddha statues destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban.
I am here to work on a book which is about the culture and history of the Hazara people of Afghanistan. It will contain stories for children about the struggles of daily life in this cold but historic province. The book aims at introducing these people to the children of the
United States whose country is spreading “freedom” and “democracy” in that region. The Hazaras are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan and are of Turco-Mongolic ancestry (I am a Hazara myself, if you’re curious).
I will be staying here for a few more days. During my stay, I’m going to take lots of pictures and do many interviews of the people to get to know more about their troubles and travails.
I will also visit the picturesque Band-e-Amir, a group of lakes situated outside the Bamian city. I will hear from the locals the many folk stories associated with this lake.
From my first impressions of Bamian, I am humbled by the magnificence of what remains of the two Buddha statues, and saddened by the barbarity that went into destroying them. I am also enchanted by the beauty of this valley and the warmth of its people.
Bamian is the safest of all provinces in Afghanistan. And if all goes well, I will hopefully be back home in after a week. Then, I will blog and post some of the pictures I take. The internet situation here is shaky due to which I am not be able to post from Bamian.
See you all on the other side of the border. Till then, stay safe and good wherever you are.
Published October 20, 2006
I am back home and back in form. I have fully recuperated and am slowly getting used to a normal life again. I want to thank all of you for the support you have provided through your comments and wishes.
The test went well and I expect a good result. The results are due in two to three weeks. Meanwhile, I plan on starting a new blog which will document my progress toward a college admission in the United States. I will be providing the latest about my admission progress and seeking advice from those of you with the experience of dealing with college admission red tape.
I have been trying to come up with a suitable, all-encompassing name for the new blog, but so far I have been unsuccessful. Do you have any ideas which may convey the sense of an Afghan with almost no financial means trying to pursue his dreams through a college degree in the U.S.? Your suggestions are welcome.
Published October 11, 2006
To all readers of MyScribbles: Write-ups of an Afghan:
Just a notice to tell you that in the last few weeks I have been busy preparing for the SAT–the entrance examination for American universities. It’s now time to take it. The test is very, very important for my future as its result will determine whether or not I will be able to get into a U.S. college, and, subsequently, study journalism.
The test center is in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It is going to take me a gruelling, 26-hour bus ride to get there. Things are not easy, but I will do my best.
Meanwhile, thank you all for putting up with the long gaps between posts. I shall start posting as soon as I return.
Published June 2, 2006
MyScribbles has been reviewed at Bloggeries. Bloggeries, one of the leading blog directories, runs a service called Bloggeries Blog Review. In it they review the leading blogs submitted to them. MyScribbles received an overall score of four on a scale of five.
Read the review here.
Thanks to the staff at Bloggeries for selecting my blog for review.
Published April 26, 2006
Miscellaneous , Personal Stuff
I am not back home yet. I had initially decided to stay away only for a few days, but things didn't quite work out the way they were planned. I have now ended up in Kabul, Afghanistan.
I am due to stay here for a few more days. While here, I will keep you updated with posts about the latest news and daily lives of Afghans. The internet situation here is not satisfactory, but I will try.
Technorati Tags: Personal, Personal stuff
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Published April 19, 2006
Hi, folks! This is going to be an unusually brief and off-topic entry. Since I am going to travel out of town for a couple of days, I may not be able to post entries to MyScribbles. However, as soon as I am back, I will start cracking at a fresh entry–guaranteed. [If you’re a new visitor, why not feast your thoughts and eyes on previous posts and pics?]
Till then, stay good and live happy. Ciao!
Tags: Personal, Personal stuff
According to a recent announcement, Marcus Stern, a friend and mentor of mine, has won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Best National Reporting. Marc has been awarded this prize for his "notable contributions" in the "disclosure of bribe-taking that sent former Rep. Randy Cunningham to prison in disgrace."
Marc is a news editor at the Copley News Service's Washington Bureau. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received numerous other awards and distinctions including National Headliners, Raymond Clapper, a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, Eugene Katz Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Journalism and George Polk Award for political reporting. Since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, he has made several trips to Central Asia and the Middle East. His foreign assignments have included Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, India and Turkey. He has made three wartime trips to Iraq totaling almost five months in country. (Read Marc's biography on Pulitzer.org)
In December last year, I had the honor of interning with Marc on his trip to Afghanistan. In addition to "fixing" and interpreting, I co-authored a number of stories with him. The stories are:
Here is a link to his winning work, the "Cunningham Stories".
Congratulations, Marc, for this wonderful achievement! It's been great having you as a friend!
Tags: Pulitzer Prize 2006, Pulitzer, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Journalism, Copley News Service