Afghanistan : Ten Facts You May Not Know.....

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
BBC's Lyse Doucette on the aspects of AFG that (usually) go unreported.....

SOURCE

For a decade and more, one country has dominated the news headlines more than most - Afghanistan. Mention this country and what comes to mind? Probably Taliban and terrorism, burkas and beards. But Afghanistan is much more. Beyond the headlines of war, there is another country where ancient traditions endure and a new country is emerging, says Lyse Doucet.

1. Afghans celebrate their new year, Nawroz, on 21 March, the first day of spring. Thousands travel to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif to welcome in Nawroz, a pre-Islamic festival. Local strong men raise a great Janda, an Islamic banner, to herald the beginning of spring and the start of the new year. If it is lifted in one smooth motion, it is seen as a good omen for the months to come. (You have to hold on to something when you live in a country that has already survived more than 30 years of war.)

2. Afghanistan would like its national game, buzkashi, or goat-grabbing, to be an Olympic sport. Regarded as the world's wildest game, it involves riders on horseback competing to grab a goat carcass, and gallop clear of the others to drop it in a chalked circle. It has been played on Afghanistan's northern steppe for centuries. The game used to be the sport of rich rival warlords but is now also financed by Afghan mobile phone companies and private airlines. But it is still not a sport for the faint-hearted, and women should not apply.


3. Mobile phone coverage is expected to reach 90% of the country this year, even though the percentage of Afghans with access to electricity is still one of the lowest in the world. Mobile phones are transforming Afghan lives and culture. Even Taliban have fancy smartphones with e-mail and skype. They are status symbols, too - if you have cash or contacts you can get a memorable number including, for example, one that has the letters of your name. (Mine has my lucky number from when I used to play basketball.)

4. Poetry is a cherished part of Afghan culture. Afghans have told their stories in verse for more than 1,000 years. Thursday night is "poetry night" in the western city of Herat - men, women and children gather to share ancient and modern verse, listen to traditional Herati music, and enjoy sweet tea and pastries long into the night.

5. Alexander the Great was the first to build Herat's ancient citadel when he captured the city in 330BC. The only woman to capture the heart of the Macedonian empire builder was the beautiful Roxanne, from the northern Afghan province of Balkh. She bore him his only son before Alexander died at the young age of 33.

6. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the poster boy for legions of young Afghan men. Photographs of a muscled Arnold in his prime hang from the walls of hundreds of body building centres across the country. Some Afghans say the action-star-turned US governor looks like an Afghan.
Arnold Schwarzenegger The muscles from... Afghanistan?

7. Afghan cuisine is more sophisticated than kebabs and rice. This landlocked country has been at the crossroads of major civilisations for centuries and that is reflected in what is on the menu. Sample its delicate ashak, a ravioli stuffed with leeks, and topped with minced meat and yogurt, or Mantu pasta filled with lamb and onions. And new influences are still emerging as Afghanistan opens its doors to the world. If you yearn for something lighter, former Japanese journalist-turned chef Hiromi (now known as Mursal which means Rose in Persian) fell in love with the country, married an Afghan and is training Afghans to make mouth-watering sushi.
File photograph from 1997 of Buddha statue in Bamiyan, Afghanistan The Bamiyan buddha before it was destroyed by the Taliban

8. Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan is said to be the busiest single runway airstrip in the world. No wonder it is also the place Nato has its first complete air traffic capability in a non-Nato country. Last year's arrival of more than 30,000 extra US troops, along with more civilian personnel, added to constant landings on a base also used by non-US militaries. Of course, lots of journalists and dignitaries also fly in to one of Afghanistan's most volatile cities, the most decisive battle in this war. Afghans have long said whoever controls Kandahar, controls Afghanistan.

9. The world's first oil paintings were drawn not in Renaissance Europe but in the caves of Bamiyan, in the central highlands of Afghanistan around 650BC. Bamiyan boasted a flourishing Buddhist civilisation from the 2nd Century up to the Islamic invasion of the 9th Century. This is where the world's two largest standing Buddhas once stood, until the Taliban destroyed them in 2001. A newly opened tourism company is trying to attract tourists back to beautiful Bamiyan. Last year, they had a grand total of two (along with Afghans and foreigners who live in the country). But the people of Bamiyan remain hopeful.

10. Oh, and please remember, Afghanis is the currency, not the people. They are called Afghans. And they have a country that, for all of its hardship and heartache, they are still proud to call home

The programme is still (currently ) on BBC i Player HERE

BBC iPlayer - Afghanistan: The Unknown Country
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#3
Well I would do if I was only bright enough....care to share the link or shall I just focus my energy on the crystal ball ?

Was the programme any good ?
 
#5
"Afghan cuisine is more sophisticated than kebabs and rice."

No it isn't. Do they really need to pay Lyse £80,000 a year to trouble us this sort of mongness?

I can picture the scene at White City. An idiot producer, keen to make a mark, tells the boss that far too many people think that Afghanistan is only home for suicide bombers and men who set fire to women. "She", for it will be a she, who has never been there, but enjoyed Rajastan, will then have conspired with Lyse, who is only available on Thursday afternoons for an hour, to provide the licence-payer with the latest in a long line of cock.

Afghan food is shite. There, you got that for free.
 
#6
Was the programme any good ?
Yes; Karzai's half-brother featured in it, and was murdered a couple of days after the programme was broadcast.
 
#7
Afghan food is shite. There, you got that for free.
No it isn't, the stuff she got to eat looked well tasty. It had been prepared by her friend, the only Japanese sushi chef in....

Oh, hang on.
 
#8
"Afghan cuisine is more sophisticated than kebabs and rice."

No it isn't. Do they really need to pay Lyse £80,000 a year to trouble us this sort of mongness?

I can picture the scene at White City. An idiot producer, keen to make a mark, tells the boss that far too many people think that Afghanistan is only home for suicide bombers and men who set fire to women. "She", for it will be a she, who has never been there, but enjoyed Rajastan, will then have conspired with Lyse, who is only available on Thursday afternoons for an hour, to provide the licence-payer with the latest in a long line of cock.

Afghan food is shite. There, you got that for free.
Thats abit funny you say that....tell me a single British dish that 1)isnt bland 2)doesnt taste like shit.

from Hagus to black pudding....all tastes like shit, made from shit...and served to shitty cnuts.

Italians,Portugese, Mexicans make some of the best dishes out there.

Relating to the topic....Afghanistan is full of cnuts..and needs a stalin like figure to civilise it.
 
#9
No it isn't, the stuff she got to eat looked well tasty. It had been prepared by her friend, the only Japanese sushi chef in....

Oh, hang on.
If you want to eat good Afghan food...go visit Shinwaris...bab e khyber(manchester)...Al Faisal(Manchester)....many other places that make good food.
 
#11
#12
Thats abit funny you say that....tell me a single British dish that 1)isnt bland 2)doesnt taste like shit.

from Hagus to black pudding....all tastes like shit, made from shit...and served to shitty cnuts.

Italians,Portugese, Mexicans make some of the best dishes out there.

Relating to the topic....Afghanistan is full of cnuts..and needs a stalin like figure to civilise it.
It's shite. Kabuli rice? A bowl of rice with a few currants bunged in it. You're confusing the "cuisine" served up to their conquerors and masters with the crap that your usual Afghan has to suffer.

How many Mexican chefs are in Helmand? I met one and he was kicked nigh on to death by a bunch of Angry pmcs who didn't like their burritos.

If you think Stalin will restore a modicum of quality to Afghan food, then dig him up and chuck him on a brai.
 
#13
Ten things I recall from pre-war Afghanistan (in the years immediately prior to the Soviet invasion).

1. The food was bloody awful, rice and greasy mutton being the staple diet.
2. You couldn't walk two paces down the Chicken Street in Kabul without being hussled.
3. A local treat in Kabul was a visit to the lunatic asylum in order to bully and abuse the inhabitants.
4. Horses, donkeys and camels were universally treated appallingly.
5. Kids in Jalalabad did not play football, cricket or anything similar. Instead they spent their leisure time killing birds and small animals.
6. Locals crapping in the street was the norm.
7. Road journeys were constantly interrupted by road blocks, with soldiers demanding 50 Afs before the journey could be continued.
8. Hepatitis was prevalent.
9. Cockroaches infested restaurants and hotels.
10. In country areas, eye contact with local women had to be avoided at all costs for fear of being killed, or worse, by the woman's husband or male relatives.

In short, the country was a total sh*t-hole. In my humble opinion, it was never worth the life of one British soldier.
 
#14
10. In country areas, eye contact with local women had to be avoided at all costs for fear of being killed, or worse, by the woman's husband or male relatives.
If you were quick you could creep up behind them and with one lungful, blow up their burkha until it was spherical. Much hilarity, until the pashtuns cracked down on it.
 
#15
BBC's Lyse Doucette on the aspects of AFG that (usually) go unreported.....

SOURCE

The programme is still (currently ) on BBC i Player HERE
BBC iPlayer - Afghanistan: The Unknown Country

Hmmm, that would a Lysol Douchbag, squandering our licence fund on yet more pc BBC crap to show how wonderfully inclusive of all cultures they are at the beeb!
They'll be doing programs about the million & one discoveries/inventions of the Muslim world next, and Black history programs showing the ills of the world are all us nasty whitefolks fault! Sorry, what's that, they already have, oh bugger! :-(
 
#16
Hmmm, that would a Lysol Douchbag, squandering our licence fund on yet more pc BBC crap to show how wonderfully inclusive of all cultures they are at the beeb!
They'll be doing programs about the million & one discoveries/inventions of the Muslim world next, and Black history programs showing the ills of the world are all us nasty whitefolks fault! Sorry, what's that, they already have, oh bugger! :-(
Quite so. It's like the Beeb's current report that the RAF "unveils it's biggest plane ever", as though size was an issue. They think that viewers are complete and utter mongs (well I suppose some of them are, so at least it's a public service).

It's an obvious attempt to "diversity-tick" an issue which has more to do with enormous expense in cash and human lives, than it does with cuisine.

Afghans are wonderful people, apart from the Pakistanis clarting up the place. Another free fact for you.
 
#17
from Hagus to black pudding....all tastes like shit, made from shit...and served to shitty cnuts.

Italians,Portugese, Mexicans make some of the best dishes out there.

Relating to the topic....Afghanistan is full of cnuts..and needs a stalin like figure to civilise it.
What in God's name is Hagus? Maybe it is something that fell out of Hagar's arse, therefore is would be shit. There again maybe, having read your comments, you have not travelled that widely or been presented with a meal that has not been produced on an industrial scale in a bank of microwaves, something any fool can do without any practice!! Presumably your diet consists entirely of "fast-food" which by its very being tastes like shit because microwaves just heat whatever has been tossed in them. Believe it or not, flavour comes from the ingredients so if you cook them badly you destroy the flavour.

Can I interest you in a cookery course? Only £550 for the six day course. Travel and accommodation are extra of course.

Pakistanis clarting up the place. Another free fact for you.
Too right, never met a Pakistani that could cook. They only know how to turn perfectly edible ingredients into a putrefied steaming bowl of sludge. Just remember the Indians invented them just to give the rest of the world a laugh. In the other hand Indians can cook, really know how to produce flavoursome food.
 
#18
What in God's name is Hagus? Maybe it is something that fell out of Hagar's arse, therefore is would be shit. There again maybe, having read your comments, you have not travelled that widely or been presented with a meal that has not been produced on an industrial scale in a bank of microwaves, something any fool can do without any practice!! Presumably your diet consists entirely of "fast-food" which by its very being tastes like shit because microwaves just heat whatever has been tossed in them. Believe it or not, flavour comes from the ingredients so if you cook them badly you destroy the flavour.

Can I interest you in a cookery course? Only £550 for the six day course. Travel and accommodation are extra of course.
Are you tropper?
 
#19
#20
Thats abit funny you say that....tell me a single British dish that 1)isnt bland 2)doesnt taste like shit.

from Hagus to black pudding....all tastes like shit, made from shit...and served to shitty cnuts.

Italians,Portugese, Mexicans make some of the best dishes out there.

Relating to the topic....Afghanistan is full of cnuts..and needs a stalin like figure to civilise it.
What you should do is get out of this country you seem to hate so much, and move to France, a nation tolerent of pied noirs (I know Algerians) and there you can dine on boudin noir, and andouillte, to your heart's content.

Obviously a full English with its bacon and sausage is forbidden to you.

The fact that Goat grabbing is your national sport is too delightful for words, I presume that you and the rest of the dodgy minicab drivers reminisce long into the night about goats you did grab and those you missed.

'There's a boy across the river with a bottom like a Peach.
Alas I cannot swim,'
 

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