Why I’m staying in Afghanistan
November 8, 2014 5:29 AM   Subscribe

The Guardian talks to foreigners who've made Afghanistan home.
posted by hoyland (7 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a little torn about this article, to be honest, in that I don't know that the way to convey Afghanistan is a country where people live and not just a war zone is to talk to (mostly European) foreigners, but I do think it's a perspective that we don't usually get to hear.
posted by hoyland at 5:32 AM on November 8, 2014

This is the kind of case study we need to show how people can rationalise absolutely any choice they have made, even totally and self-evidently terrible ones.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:51 AM on November 8, 2014

Another Fine Product, can you expand on why you feel these people have made such a terrible choice?

For myself, as a transplant, who is so strongly bound to the area where I live that I can't hardly concieve of being elsewhere (although I do love to travel) I can certainly understand the feeling of having "come home." I can empathize with people who love their chosen land and would feel leaving would be wrong for both themselves and their adopted country.

The physiotherapist is absolutely needed and is a hero, in my book.

The article did a nice job of profiling people and their diverse reasons for their allegiance to Afghanistan.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:07 AM on November 8, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yea, I won't get into the plate of beans aspect of this but I enjoyed it as someone who likes to hear about expats or long term visitors living, and even thriving, in cultures or geography not necessarily their own.
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:33 AM on November 8, 2014

Cairo started the Red Cross’s first rehabilitation projects, offering education and job training, and he insists that all staff at the centre are disabled themselves – from the security guards to the teams that make prosthetic limbs.

“It’s society that makes the life of disabled people impossible,” he says. “In Afghanistan, the disabled are not rejected, but they are given pity, not rights. They are not given a chance to restart their lives. So we have to fight.”
Wherever he is in the world, he will make it a better place. Afghanistan or anywhere else. It was worth reading for that alone.

Thank you for posting this. It was really good for me to read it. Each of these stories helps put my own struggles in life in perspective.
posted by Michele in California at 4:41 PM on November 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Michele in California says it right, difficult situations put our struggles in to perspective.
These are people that for one reason or another found themselves in a difficult yet beautiful place that need them as much as they needed it, because it gave them meaning, purpose.
Sometime that meaning is obvious, like Mr Cairo, sometimes really is a feeling of "i have come home".
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 5:46 PM on November 8, 2014

I visited Afghanistan in 2010. I visited Bamiyan. My guidebook, a couple of years old, trumpeted the hot shower now offered by one hotel as evidence of progress.

The dry shower nozzle was still there for me to see.

Such a beautiful country with such wonderful people.

So screwed.

posted by Autumn Leaf at 1:23 AM on November 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

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