Yesterday was a fascinating cultural day. After a lavish breakfast with seemingly-incongruous delicious bacon, Liz, Jo and I went with Karim to the National Gallery. The most striking thing about the museum is that it exists at all--the Taliban stricture against images
painting of the traditional Pashtun attan dance, calling up the pre-Islamic rites that still have not been entirely eradicated from Afghanistan. The rest of the museum revealed a more liberal but still recent history, with buxom jazz musicians, the King in full morning dress, and traditionally dressed women gazing arrestingly directly at the viewer.
After speaking for a while with the museum's curator and viewing some of his work--arresting in its own way, full of political pain--we moved over to the Sultani museum on the other side of the same building. The Sultani museum is full of treasures that had been smuggled out of Afghanistan but but were then reassembled and returned by a concerned benefactor.
Bah, have to get ready for work...more to come on this post this evening!
Goodbye Economist, hello Handelsblatt
4 months ago