Monday, March 20, 2006

Naw Roz Mubarak

The Gov't of Afghanistan (GoA) has declared 4 days off, Tuesday through Friday. Much, if not most of our national staff is taking a fair amount of time off. Part of my new role involves the GoA employees, so I wont have that to do. I don’t know if we actually get the day off. No one does. Our Chief even asked us at the table if we knew if we had the day off. Yeah, I was tempted to say something, but then I realized I would just get some riposte about my sleeping habits. Smartly, I think, I bit my tongue.

I’m taking on a new role, during the extension. It wont be fun, but at least it will be clear what, exactly, I’m doing here in Kabul (though I really hope to continue doing the random and oddball work). The new role diminishes the existential angst a bit, but for the part that the job entails a fair amount of frustration. The person I took over for did an astounding job, and turned the project around. Stepping in becomes all that much worse. And as he was departing, turning over mounds of files, and sage words of wisdom he noted the best part of the job—all the responsibility and no authority.

And so the New Year begins.

There was an article in the Beeb about a trial here in Afghanistan, currently being tried. It will be interesting to see how it turns out. Especially given the Taliban upsurge and potential ramifications there with the outcome of the trial. I feel no envy for the judge in figuring out both the legal aspects here, the application of Sharia, balancing the Afghan Constitution (particularly Article 2, clause (2), stating “Followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law,” and Article 3 stating “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.”) Sharia is used here, and more often than not, from what I’ve learned second hand, and only with respect to criminal cases (which I don’t even think this is, at least I hope it isn’t), the Hanafi School.

Given the political climate, I wonder if such will determine this case. Especially since so much foreign media attention has already been thrown on the case. As the foreign interest really pulls both ways (the desire to portray a modern Islamic State respecting religious freedom, versus the potential fuel to the fire provided by such a decision, and surely to be capitalized upon by the Taliban & fundamentalists). God knows which way this case will go. And I haven’t read much about the defendant’s representation. In fact, I feel some sympathy for those (if there is anyone) representing the defendant. I envy no one involved with this case, and would think it best if the case is simply thrown out. That fallout would seem to be the easiest to manage, politically, rather than a decision of guilt either way. Further, that would establish the best precedent too.

Oh yeah, finally the violence has approached a bit closer, not physically though. About two weeks before the Macedonians from Ecolog were kidnapped and later killed, one of then was at our house for dinner. I have to go meet with his coworkers soon for work stuff.

Ahh, the New Year. Somehow Jens Lekman hasn’t been cutting it as the necessary soundtrack. Instead it’s been mid/late 90s DC-ish punk. Monorchid, one of those “criminally underappreciated” bands, has been on heavy rotation (a free MP3 I just found, a classic to boot, or this could just be nostalgia), as has been Sleepy Time Trio, Maximillian Colby, Fugazi, 400 Years, and for light fare, the Pee Tanks.

Blissful college/post-teen angst driven hope is replacing existential/european angst. Sure, it is pining for the salad days. But it is spring and the rains are fresh, and a new year is here in this better time for such.

I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Naw Roz Mubarak.


NegativeMode said...

I have read your post.

Anonymous said...

I echo N Mode.

I wonder how much pressure US Embassy will have on this matter... And UNHCR. And what I want to know is -- how was it possible for the constitution / legislation to be re-written post-2001 that is in clear violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Hmmm.

Q. A. Shah said...

Ah, thank you N-mode. Am I going to get regular reports on your reading of my posts?

You too VP? How is the constitution in violation of the UDHR? I don't see it. The UDHR doesn't ensure secular states, just freedom of religious practice. Besides, the UDHR is largely just for show.

Anonymous said...

You don't see a contradiction in your comment? Clearly lawyers have their brains wired differently to the general population. How was is possible for Afghanistan to legislate so that it's a crime to have freedom of religious practice?

UDHR is largely for show. So is the UN. And our two governments have ensured that that is the case. We should quit the pretence and dissolve it now.

Q. A. Shah said...

I still don't see the contradiction. But maybe this is due to the fact that there is no clear case showing how article 2(2) is to be implemented. IF this case finds the dude guilty, that *may* be a violation. Either way it would be a tragedy.

NegativeMode said...

I have read your comment to my comment.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, I think you're fronting about your musical tastes.

You know that this is more your style:

Anonymous said...

I don't think this previous link worked:

You're quite welcome

Q. A. Shah said...

I know that you know that I know that you know that i know that:

I just linked to ELO lyrics. That says enough about my musical tastes....broad and encompasing, are how i describe them. Thanks for the link, it better be as good as the last music video. By the way, the Kabuli P-diddy track is a kitchen staff fav.