After cold weather in Edinburgh, Kabul or at my parents place I went to see and feel the sun!
Thanks to my friend, I could spent a week on the beach, snorkel at stunning coral reefs and most importantly feel the sun on my skin.
I did what I have never done before, I went for a beach-all-inclusive holiday. I landed in Sharm-el-Sheik with a beautiful sunset. It was a beautiful resort and our room faced directly the sea. To use this opportunity, we decided to get up in the morning at 6 am to see the sunrise.
What a luck that there were no clouds and the red sun was mirroring in the sea – the red sea. The next days we were lying on the beach and what I didn’t realise at the beginning, we could snorkel on the best coral reefs. The hotel had its own coral reef and was famous for that. It was amazing. Colourful exotic fishes were swimming around us. You could almost touch it. I tried it, but could not really succeed.
One day we also wanted to go to Ras Mohammed. While two girls going by car, was maybe not the best idea, we decided to go by boat and snorkel there organised by the hotel. The boat trip was beautiful at the beginning. Along the coast the cliffs came apparent. The divers went of at the tip of Ras Mohammed. But there at the tip the waves were wild. The boat as going from the left to the right side, up and down. I already began to get headache from all the waves. But also we could go and snorkel there and I felt much better in the water than outside.
The corals were beautiful again, just the water was not as clear as the waves were stirring and mixing the water and the dust around. Back on the boat the really heavy waves were affecting our health. We got really sea sick. So painful, but at least I will never forget this boat trip.
In our last day we went to Sharm-el-Sheik went through the basar and finalised our holiday with an fantastic sea food dinner before flying to Cairo and then back to Berlin.
We were just talking about scary dolls in Afghan shopping windows… And there we have seen a really scary example.
Pure enjoyment at my desk today! I got some amazingly delicious pomegranate from Afghanistan. It takes a while to get it read to eat, but it was worth the effort. I am already looking forward for the winter season and when I am back in December. I will get as much as I want!
Reality in Afghanistan is changing quickly, it sways in extremes. Just yesterday you could see the most amazing pictures about Afghanistan’s victory in the South Asian Football Championship. Today, the tragic and sad pictures about the attack of the US Consulate in Herat are all over the news.
I was so excited and happy about the pictures of pure joy and happiness on all Afghan faces, when they won the South Asian Championship. These pictures show pure emotions, happiness and pride. And I remembered the feeling of the World Cup 2006 on the streets of Berlin, the atmosphere in the city was amazing at the time. I am sure, it must have even been better on the streets in Afghanistan.
Facebook was full of comments, pictures and expressions of happiness, you could feel that they were about to burst from all this joy and this extraordinary experience. Celebrating together on the street, I think none of them has experienced such atmosphere. Most of all, you could feel that Afghanistan as a unity!
Everywhere you could read that it was Afghanistan who won this Championship, that together they can win and if they are believing in this unity, nothing can stop them towards a strong peaceful country! President Karzai was honouring the team and gave this event an even more symbolic touch. The Afghan national team players became heroes, not only in football, even beyond.
And all this was suddenly pushed away by the attack on the US Consulate in Herat. Especially the tragic event, that one of the former students of the computer science faculty who worked at the US-Consulate died in that attack. I remember Ramin, a student of the computer science faculty very well. It is always a shock when people you know die. And you could see the reactions of his former classmates and lecturers, who could not believe that one of them was suddenly taken from this world. One realizes that Afghanistan is far from being a safe and peaceful country and that attacks can happen any time and anywhere and one just had been at the wrong time at the wrong place.
All my sympathies are with his family and friends. May he rest in peace. This time I was even more shocked, as many have shared their feelings on Facebook as well and I could follow their thoughts and worries. One could see the confusion and sadness in their thoughts.
Reality in Afghanistan is changing so fast. One minutes you are happy and feel safe, the other minute you are scared and feel the insecurity! How can you deal with these fast developments? I have respect how all people of the country can handle their lives. I think, far too often we forget the impacts which such events leave behind. Most of the students I worked with are dealing their whole life in this extreme environment. I hope that they keep on working that one day, they or their children can live in a safe and peaceful world.
The other day I was thinking about a conversation I had with some colleague/ friends when I was in Mazar.
I remember we all were in the car and were talking about this and that. I do not remember how we came to the topic, but someone made a joke and said to me. “You are not a good girl”. I asked back what a good girl is. It is very simple, a good girl is mostly at home, works, cleans, cooks for the family. A good girl can go to school, university, but should be quiet and should not look at men. For sure, she should not sit in a car and make jokes with boys like me.
So I got curious, but what is a good boy then? All where laughing, “boys are always good”. You can’t do much and not being a good boy! Well, after a while we figured out three things, which make you a bad boy. Having girlfriends, drinking alcohol and taking drugs. These are the only things you do to be a bad boy.
So unfair! Well, why we were laughing a lot about this, it is unfortunately the reality. Boys have so much more freedom. Not only in Afghanistan, but I guess here it becomes much more obvious.
There are many websites, which show the old Afghanistan, shared in Facebook. When I shared the following website with some Afghan friends, it was interesting to get their reactions. Especially the young generation which I interact with (students or graduates) they are mostly can’t believe it. “It is our bad luck, that we have now such a situation”. Or, “Why are we so backwards now?” they are asking.
I also can’t believe how openly people were walking around. I wish I could have been at that time once in Afghanistan. On the other hand, you could take similar pictures now in some places. Let’s hope that the impressions or pictures I have now, are not seen by such surprise by others in some years like I see these pictures from the past now.
After all the work was done, we enjoyed a nice dinner! And our host also invited some musicians who made a small concert for us. For all who are interested in Afghan music, here one song!