AVGANISTAN – AFGHANISTAN – افغانستان

Drveca lesnika oko utvrdjenja Nili u provinciji Daikundi-Hazelnut trees around fortress of Nili in  the Daykundi province

Drveca lesnika oko utvrdjenja Nili u provinciji Daikundi-Hazelnut trees around fortress of Nili in the Daykundi province

Lovac na zmajeve-The Kite Runner

Lovac na zmajeve-The Kite Runner

Mala pijaca u Kabulu-A small market in Kabul

Mala pijaca u Kabulu-A small market in Kabul

Obnovljeni mauzolej kralja Nadir Sah Gazija-The restored Mausoleum of King Nadir Shah Ghazi

Obnovljeni mauzolej kralja Nadir Sah Gazija-The restored Mausoleum of King Nadir Shah Ghazi

Planinski lanac Hindukus-Hindu Kush mountain range

Planinski lanac Hindukus-Hindu Kush mountain range

Porodica na motoru-A family on a motorbike

Porodica na motoru-A family on a motorbike

Predaja oruzja-Arms handover

Predaja oruzja-Arms handover

Rusevina kraljeve palate - Ruins of King's Palace

Rusevina kraljeve palate – Ruins of King’s Palace

Rusevina kraljeve palate-Ruins of King's Palace

Rusevina kraljeve palate-Ruins of King’s Palace

Ulica ptica u Kabulu-Chicken Street in Kabul

Ulica ptica u Kabulu-Chicken Street in Kabul

Ulica zemljanih posuda-Clay pottery street

Ulica zemljanih posuda-Clay pottery street

Ulicni scenario-A scene from the street

Ulicni scenario-A scene from the street

Zena nad Kabulom-A woman above Kabul

Zena nad Kabulom-A woman above Kabul

Posle dugog letenja iznad nepristupačnih planinskih vrhova, sleteo sam u glavni grad Kabul, destinaciju koju sam dugo priželjkivao čitajući mnoge romane i putopise, posebno Pisma iz Azije Zuka Džumhura i Lovca na zmajeve Haleda Hoseinija. Pre polaska na put nisam se dovoljno raspitao o političkoj situaciji, pa su mi zato odmah rekli da sam došao u najgorem trenutku, pred izbore, kada Talibani svakodnevno napadaju policijske postaje, a četrdeset bobmaša samoubica već se nalazi u gradu. Tu, međutim, živi onaj dobar narod, Paštuni, Tadžici, ili Hazari, o kojima sam često razmišljao čitajući Hazarski rečnik velikog pisca Milorada Pavića. Prašnjave ulice Kabula i razrušene zgrade svedoče o nedavnoj surovoj prošlosti, a posebno ogroman stadion u centru, gde su talibani vršili egzekucije. Zato ironično zvuči reč taliban, koja znači student, koji studira u medresi gde se izučava ekstremni islam. Žao mi je ovog naroda, koji je žrtva političkih igara velikih sila. Amerikanci su osamdesetih godina stvorili talibane da bi isterali Ruse iz ove zemlje. Sada su se, međutim, talibani svom žestinom okrenuli protiv velikih sila, ali istovremeno i protiv svog naroda u težnji za stvaranjem ekstremnog islamskog društva, koje ne uvažava ostale religije. Pored ostalog, talibani su upamćeni po granatiranju ogromnih statua Bude, u mestu Bamijan.
Posmatram razrušenu rezidenciju avganistanskih šahova, oko koje sada ovce pasu neku kržljavu, jedva vidljivu travu. Sve je ovde žuto i prašnjavo,  a narod s nevericom sluša o predelima u kojima ima zelenila. Kiša je prava retkost, ali su zato zime surovo hladne, kao što je, uostalom, i sve surovo u ovom okruženju. Zato je i zanimljivo kako je ovde ponikao i održao se ovako dobar, pametan, pa i lep narod. Kako žene izgledaju, može se samo nazreti ispod dugih, svetloplavih burki, ali neka čudna lepota isijava čak i ispod mrežastog zastora za oči.
Stare prašnjave knjižare kriju pravo blago, koje čak ni talibanski režim nije uspeo da uništi masovnim spaljivanjem neverničke literature. U čuvenoj Ulici ptica ljubazni prodavci nude srebrni nakit, ukrašen plavim lapis lazuli kamenom, i nadaleko čuvene avganistanske tepihe. Sve je to propraćeno cvrkutom ptica iz brojnih kaveza.
Posmatram sa brda ovaj grad smešten u ogromnoj dolini, okružen nepristupačnim planinama. Između njih su putevi koji vode u Kandahar, Bamijan, Mazarišarif i ostale gradove, do kojih vas ti putevi neće dovesti, jer talibani kontrolišu veliki deo teritorije, napadaju i ubijaju. Ko bi Osamu pronašao u tom bespuću, ili je on ostao samo američka fikcija.
Ne verujem da o svemu tome razmišlja mali lovac na zmajeve, koji na vetru tako predano razvija svoju igračku na brdu iznad Kabula, baš kao u romanu. Ruža vetrova je sada pogodna za tu igru, koja prestaje da bude igra i postaje borilačka veština. Jer, u Avganistanu je sve borba.
Borba koja traje i kojoj se, nažalost, ne nazire kraj.

Avgust 2009.
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After a lengthy flight over the rugged mountains, I landed in the capital – Kabul, a destination I have longed for over many years, while reading numerous novels and travelogues, especially Zuko Džumhur’s Letters from Asia and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. I have not researched the political situation before my trip, so as soon as I arrived I was told that I could not have chosen a worse time – with imminent elections, the Taliban were attacking police outposts on a daily basis and forty suicide bombers were already in the town. However, this is also home to many good people, the Pashtuns, the Tajiks, the Khazars, who were on my mind when I was reading Milorad Pavić’s great novel – Dictionary of the Khazars.
The dusty streets and ruined buildings of Kabul are reminders of the recent brutal history – a huge stadium in the city centre where the Taliban had carried out executions, particularly stands out. Ironically, the meaning of Taliban is – students, those studying in local Madrasah, religious schools teaching extremist Islam. I pity the good people of Afghanistan who fell victim to the superpowers’ political games. In the 1980s, the Americans had created the Taliban in order to expel the Russians from Afghanistan. Now however, the Taliban have turned with all their might against the big powers, but also against their own people, trying to create an extremist, Islamic society intolerant of any other religion. They will be remembered, amongst other atrocities, by the shelling of the huge statues of Buddhas of Bamiyan.
I look at the demolished residence of the Afghan Shahs, now surrounded by sheep grazing barely visible, stunted grass. Everything here is yellowish and dried out and people listen with disbelief when they hear about countries where greenery is abundant. Rain is a rare occurrence here and freezing winters are brutal, as much as everything else in this country. So, it is unusual that the people of such wit, kindness and beauty have originated here and managed to thrive. What women really look like is left to imagination, as they are covered head to toe in sky blue burkhas; however a strange, elusive beauty emanates from their eyes, hidden behind the concealing net.
Ancient dusty bookshops hide a real literary treasure that has survived despite the systematic burning of infidel books by the Taliban. In the renowned Chicken Street affable stall vendors offer silver jewelry with inset lapis lazuli stone, as well as the world famous Afghan rugs. The cacophony of birds chirruping, coming from numerous bird cages, flows down the street.
From the top of a hill, I observe this city, situated in a large valley, between inaccessible mountains. Main roads to Kandahar, Bamiyan and  Mazar-i-Sharif lead through here, but will never get you to your destination, as they are controlled by the Taliban who loot and kill passengers on their way. Whoever would find Osama bin Laden in this wilderness?
Yet now he is but a character in a story.
I doubt that the little Kite Runner, engrossed in flying his toy on a hill above Kabul, just like in the novel, spares a thought for all this. The winds are now favourable for this game, which is not a game anymore, but is becoming a combat. In Afghanistan everything is a combat.
Unfortunately, the one with no end in sight.

August 2009

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