Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Letters from Kabul

More goings-on from my friend in Afghanistan!
thank you so much for your sweet letter. you're so kind to always be
thinking of me.

my experience in afghanistan has been amazing for the most part. in the states, people are always worried about the security but it seems here that poverty is a much bigger issue. case to point, i am currently sporting the "kabul cough," a cough that inflict foreigners when shortly after they arrive. when i asked what it was from, my boss explained that the poor/non-existant sewage system and animals roaming the streets cause a disproportionate amount of feces exposed, some of which gets caught in the air. so what i have is feces attacking my throat. now i don't know if this is true or not, but the fact that it's plausible suggests the state of this country.

as for specifics, i was interning for bearingpoint for a few weeks when i got a job offer from the UNDP. now i'm working on DDR (disarmament, demobilization, reintegration of ex-combatants). it's really interesting work and the learning curve is quite sharp at hte moment, which means that i come home every night exhausted. but the contract is 6-months which means that i will have to start looking for a job (again) starting in a few months. but that seems like a lifetime away.

as for iran, i haven't kept abreast with the news to know what's going on. if i remember correctly, most of the grievance is over the nuclear stuff. there might be a thing or two about iraq, and i vaguely remember the US being upset with iran because of something to do with al-qaeda. in studying the history of US foreign policy with Iran, it seems that a lot has more to do with perception than with reality. in this case, i think the neocons are out to get iran, for whatever reason. this is not to say that iran is blame free. but the types of grievances that the US has with iran does not warrant even mention of an attack. if you want to talk about oppression, iran's neighbor to the north, turkmenistan, should raise red flags. north korea's nuclear program puts iran's to shame. but a lot of this is political and has more to do with specific lobbies within the united states.

oh dear, it seems as though i'm babbling. i don't know how good any of this information will be for your blog. one of these days, i'll sit down and write a descriptive email about my stay in kabul. thanks for always thinking of me.

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