“A landscape might be denuded,
a human settlement abandoned or lost, but always,
just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted
humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud.”
– The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer
Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
– William Dalrymple, author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42
God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
– Khaled Hosseini
A French man who worked for the ICRC had been to inspect one of Kabul’s
prisons to check on the conditions of the prisoners.
After their names had all been verified, he noticed a door which had remained unopened for the inspection.
The prison guard had been reluctant to open it;
behind it was just an old man in solitary confinement, he had said.
But it was the man’s job to count the prisoners, and he insisted on being shown inside.
When the door was open, he caught sight of a half-naked old man in the freezing and windowless cell.
The old man had tottered to his feet, lifted the scrap of cloth on which he sat,
brushed the dust from it and stepped back, smiling, to offer the space to his guest.
– Jason Elliott, An Unexpected Light
Beetles & Huxley Gallery
12 May through 7 June 2014