Saturday, November 22, 2008

Queen's Palace at Babur Gardens

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture has completed another incredible project, the Queen's Palace at Babur Gardens in Kabul. This complex was a bombed out skeleton of a building before the restoration started, and it was rebuilt to its former splendor. An interior shot below (with some site specific paintings by a Pakistani artist on the floor).

Traffic jam... shopping burqas

Some boys caught in a traffic jam...

with their horse-drawn cart stuck next to the cola truck and the U.N. vehicle.

One of my favorite places in Kabul is the old city bazaar. I love witnessing the shopping frenzy, which has become even crazed with the big eid holiday coming in early December. There is about one burqa-clad woman for every 50 men in this bazaar, except in the area with the pretty fabrics and notions, where the women outnumber the men.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Giving Afghans something else to think about

A friend put together a fantastic contemporary art show at the lovely Babur Gardens in Kabul. It featured works from Iranian, Pakistani and Afghan artists. When I visited, dozens of Afghans were milling around, and it occurred to me that for this brief moment in time, their minds were off the daily turmoil.

Outside in the garden, sits this jolly pomegranate vendor and a satisfied customer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama on a Kabul TV

I was watching the tube until we lost our Kabul electricity at 11:30 p.m., then went to bed. After some anxious zzz's, I woke up at 2 a.m. when the juice kicked in again and surfed the web. Polls in the U.S. weren't closed yet. Watched CNN from home, then went to a friend's place at 4 a.m. for a gathering of a few dozen people in front of this cable TV you see above here. This image was taken when the cable was working well. Sometimes the screen went to white fuzz altogether. Sometimes we could just hear the TV talking heads; other times we squinted at the TV to try to read the electoral vote scoreboard at bottom half of the screen. "How can you read that? Wait, is that 207 or 209?" Despite the TV glitches, we shouted, pounded our fists in the air and cried with the rest of you out there.

Monday, November 03, 2008

More Karzai

Another image from Karzai's meeting with women leaders on Oct. 29.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Horse... mud huts... an Afghan camerawoman

A guy on a big pretty horse moseying down my street.

Some Kabul architecture.

An Afghan camerawoman -- one of a handful -- covering Karzai's speech before the country's women activists, advocates and leaders.