Soccer with the Boys

Jan 3, 2011   //   by peretz   //   photos, taj  //  1 Comment

The cook scored 3 goals. The mechan­ic Sadik stayed in goal. The guard Metin scored 7. I scored 9.

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Disaster Services

Jan 2, 2011   //   by LouBu   //   Uncategorized  //  5 Comments

Yes­ter­day Megan and I taught CPR to a group of Uni­ver­si­ty Stu­dents who have tak­en it upon them­selves to form a Dis­as­ter Response team and are try­ing to amass skills and knowl­edge that will be of use to them and their com­mu­ni­ties. One of the boys, Hameed, is part of our infor­mal “geek squad” at the Taj and wrote the pre­vi­ous post on this blog. Of the four he was the only one who spoke ful­ly flu­ent Eng­lish. Two could…

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My Moment of Heroism

Jan 1, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   long, Uncategorized  //  4 Comments

Morn­ing rolled around. After hav­ing break­fast with my uncle, I head­ed towards Jalal­abad bus sta­tion in Kab­ul. I sat in the rear seat of a wag­on. A man with grub­by clothes, long hair, dirt-caked hands, wear­ing a big bag­gy vest with swollen pock­ets, lines etched into his tanned face, creas­es framed his eyes and his mouth, came aboard and sat next to me. His face was pale and his eyes were fright­ened, like the eyes of a hunt­ed ani­mal. In…

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A Small Adventure

Jan 1, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   long, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

(Note: This is the first post by Hameed. Get used to it!) I have an Amer­i­can friend named Jere­my. He is my Pash­to lan­guage stu­dent as well. Our friend­ship is very tight, and it goes beyond the teach­ing. One day, Jere­my asked me to trav­el to Kab­ul with him because of secu­ri­ty prob­lems and to help with trans­la­tion on the way from Jalal­abad to Kab­ul. I agreed to his sug­ges­tion.  It was a bright Thurs­day morn­ing of humid sum­mer, promis­ing heat,…

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Introducing Hameed!

Jan 1, 2011   //   by peretz   //   Uncategorized  //  2 Comments

We kick off the New Year with a new author on our site. Meet Hameed Tasal. Here Hameed is align­ing the Satel­lite receiv­er dish atop the Taj. See the ear­phones? He’s not rock­ing out to blas­phe­mous tunes, but lis­ten­ing to the diag­nos­tic pitch that tells him if the info can­non is hit­ting the tar­get. And he’s no stranger to big name pub­li­ca­tions (such as Jalala­good) hav­ing been inter­viewed for the Boston Her­ald this April. Worth a read.

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Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2010   //   by peretz   //   photos, Uncategorized  //  4 Comments

Thanks to Anselm for com­ing up with it, we have a new tagline: Adven­tures in Khy­ber­space! Get it? We’re focused on bring­ing tech­nol­o­gy to the Khy­ber Pass. Just a few days ago, we took a dri­ve to it’s West­ern Edge, the Torkham Gate. This street scene brought to you by JD, a friend of the TAJ:

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Nan Factory

Dec 30, 2010   //   by LouBu   //   videos  //  6 Comments

While walk­ing down the streets of Kab­ul last week I stared a lit­tle too inquis­i­tive­ly into a nan store/factory pump­ing out the long, flat bread that is eat­en with every meal in Afghanistan. The man stretch­ing the dough noticed my pry­ing and invit­ed us in to see the whole process up close, encour­ag­ing us to take pho­tographs and film the intri­cate, six man team work­ing togeth­er to form the vat of dough into iden­ti­cal dia­monds of flat bread. The bread is baked in a…

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Dec 29, 2010   //   by peretz   //   links  //  No Comments

This has float­ed across my link­space over the past week: Pajh­wok News — a local Afghan run news ser­vice, recent­ly signed con­tract to pro­vide video and pho­tos to CNN. How to write about Afghanistan — amus­ing read­ing. (Thanks Ben Atlas!)  I guess we have to study it hard­er, since we’re fail­ing so far. Jim Gant: the Green Beret who could win the war in Afghanistan — inspired read­ing. Kuchi, Afghan Nomads — Megan has been called a Kuchi, in par­tic­u­lar by one enthu­si­as­tic boy.  Sup­pos­ed­ly since the…

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Dec 28, 2010   //   by peretz   //   terms  //  9 Comments

Terms picked up along the way: ISAF — Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force is what the US-led NATO coali­tion forces are called in Afghanistan. Com­mVoid — of as in, “Sor­ry, I did­n’t hang up, we got Com­mVoid!”  Because many IEDs are trig­gered by cell­phone, ISAF and UN con­voys fre­quent­ly trav­el with cell­phone jam­mers cre­at­ing a communi­ca­tion void in their vicin­i­ty.  As I have been informed by peo­ple who have expe­ri­ence with such things, the most dan­ger­ous place to dri­ve is at the…

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Afghan National Dresses

Dec 27, 2010   //   by peretz   //   photos  //  6 Comments

I found this scanned cal­en­dar of Ari­ana Afghan Air­lines from 1973 and am repost­ing here. [flickr-gallery mode=“photoset” photoset=“72157625559950781”] Click­ing on an image will bring up a light­box. Then you have to click on the sides of the light­box to pan around. And you should take a look at this pho­to series from For­eign Pol­i­cy Mag­a­zine, which will total­ly blow your per­cep­tion of Afghanistan’s recent past: — Biol­o­gy Class in Kab­ul Uni­ver­si­ty, cir­ca 1960s

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