About the Afghan Government
March 13, 2007

There are 24 Afghan government ministries, spread out all over the city. I have a feeling many will be combined as Afghanistan matures... if Afghanistan gets a chance to mature... It's the usual stuff: Agriculture and Food, Economy, Public Works, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Transportation, etc. There's also ministries of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Women's Affairs, Haj and Islamic Affairs, and the one with the longest name, Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled. The official name of this country, by the way, is the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Chapter One, Article 2 of the constitution has two bullet points

You can be of another religion here, or even of no religion, but as I understand it, you can't build a church or temple here, and that anyone willing to admit he or she is Sikh, Christian, Baha'i or whatever is incredibly harassed, even threatened. Even so, as I mentioned earlier, Afghans are a lot less Muslim than you might think -- they are more culturally Muslim than mosque and Haj-going -- do you know what I mean? I think their treatment of women has its roots way before Islam every came here. There were just two long-term resident Jews living here in Kabul in the last 10 years, as I understand it, who lived on opposite ends of one of the famous streets here and who hated each other. The locals liked them both very much. One died recently, however, so that leaves just one.

Article 3 of the same chapter of the Constitution states, "In Afghanistan no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam." Yet, in Chapter Two, Article 22, it's stated "The citizens of Afghanistan, whether woman or man, have equal rights and duties before the law." And Article is most definitely contrary to the beliefs and provisions of Islam. Or fundamentalist Christianity, for that matter...

I love my country's godless Constitution!!! Hurrah for the separation of church and state!!! Ofcourse, my country's original constitution left out women and gave slaves a less-than-human value... we're not perfect, ofcourse. And speaking from experience -- non Christians in the USA don't always have an easy time of it either.

And by the way: Afghanistan has its own calendar. It's the year 1386, I think... the new year is going to start later this month.

Given the weather, it's expected that Afghanistan is going to produce a bumper crop of poppies. The weather will allow other crops to do well, but nothing brings in the money like poppies. Burning and spraying the fields is STUPID -- give the farmers something as lucrative to farm or produce, and they will, no problem. But they've got mouths to feed and are tired of living in such tremendous poverty -- poppies are their salvation.

I'll be taking my heavy winter coat home in May, and exchanging it for a lighter winter coat. Very glad to have brought the heavy coat, but it's soon not going to be necessary.


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Comments are welcomed, and motivate me to keep writing --
without comments, I start to think I'm talking to cyberair.

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