Archive for December 2009
The evening call to prayer in Kandahar, Afghanistan – This is a link to a video I shot from the roof of our compound in Kandahar. Its the evening call to prayer, the azan, from the Red Mosque. The mosque is the biggest in the city.
The city itself is the town from which the Taliban was born. The area has been continuously inhabited for more than 5,000 years and the city is the second largest in Afghanistan. Though only the second largest, it is the first in smuggling, being large and only a couple hours from the Pakistan border. Across the border is the Pakistani city of Quetta where many of the Taliban leadership now reside.
Kandahar is a big town. A large valley stuffed with mud walled compounds, small houses, shops and mosques. Women wear burqas as a matter of course and the men wear beards. Afghan IRD staff say they get stared at if they don’t wear beards.
More on Kandahar later.
Its raining today. It started around 4 a.m. when the sound of the fat drops dripping off the security grill over my window woke me up. Its fitting that its raining today since I’m driving down to Spin Boldak – leaving in 7 minutes. Spin Boldak is the border crossing between Kandahar and Quetta the twin cities of the Taliban. It is fitting because 10 years of drought in this dry land has pushed farmers to a more hardy crop – the opium poppy – and it is through Spin Boldak that a lot of the product passes. Maybe today will be the end of the dry spell?