Fear Me
April 3, 2007

(When I published this on my private blog for friends and family, it got a very strong reaction from several people -- more reactions than anything I had published online to date; reactions will be discussion in a later blog)

We were driving home this evening - in a van this time, because there were so many of us - and we were going oh-so-slowly down a narrow crater-filled road in downtown Kabul. And I look out my window and there is a cute puppy eating something off the sidewalk. Then this fat pre-pubescent boy walks over grabs the puppy, pushes him to the ground, puts his knee on his neck and starts beating him on the head. AND I WENT BALLISTIC. I started knocking on the window loudly, the little boy looked up, and I yelled, "STOP IT. STOP IT NOW!" I was shaking my finger at him and had a look in my eye that I would not have wanted to be on the other end of. And the boy stood up, looked at me scared to death. The puppy walked away. And I kept staring at fat kid all the way down the street, with a look that said, You little sh*t, I *will* get out of this car and beat the holy crap out of you if you touch that dog again. And I will take even more pleasure in it than you were torturing that dog. And he stood there, terrified, never taking his eyes off scary-woman-in-the-UN-mini-van as we went down the street. He made no move to go after the puppy.

I hope he has nightmares about me for the rest of his life. I hope I've scarred him permanently.

My colleagues - all male -- sat there in total silence. No one said a word for the rest of the ride home.

Here's the thing: little boys that abuse animals grow up to abuse their wives and children. They grow up to be serial killers. IT'S A FACT. Not to mention that when does an animal EVER deserve that kind of treatment? Torture for fun? What kind of society is this REALLY going to be if they don't quit getting a thrill for beating dogs?

Call me culturally-insensitive. Tell me I'm trying to impose "Western values" on a society. Go ahead. Here's another thing: I DON'T CARE. I'll wear the headscarf, I'll avoid eye contact with men, but don't you DARE tell me to not say something against something totally inhumane and cruel.

Yes, I'm still upset...

Through pure luck, I've managed to connect to a well-established British animal welfare group working right here in Afghanistan, and have been talking with one of their folks via email. Mayhew Animal Home and Humane Education Centre is doing great work -- tying its work to local veterinary training programs, and spaying and neutering animals and then trying to find homes for them (mostly with expats, but they've had some success with local Afghan families). You can read more about them below, and I'm asking you to PLEASE consider making a donation. This money will make a different right here in Afghanistan!! And, yes, I've made a donation. I'll probably make another one.

So many times, I hear people say, "I'd like to give money, but how do I know it will really make a difference?" This is a way to REALLY make a difference. And if I can at all handle it emotionally, I'll be making a site visit to this shelter in the coming weeks.

And FYI: the idea that dogs are unclean or that it's okay to abuse them has no basis in the Koran.


If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me to keep writing --
without comments, I start to think I'm talking to cyberair.

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