I come originally from Daikundi province – my parents were born there, though I have never been lucky enough to travel to that place. This time when I’m back to Afghanistan, I will definitely visit Daikundi and other parts of Hazarajat.
I have always been curious about the developments in Daikundi. My knowledge of Daikundi is limited to what I heard from my parents, my Daikundi-wal roommates in Kabul University dorm, my other friends from Daikundi and of course the history books. The national media (let alone the international ones) rarely mention Daikundi. Just occasionally I come across photos and blogposts about Daikundi on the web. I recently found Wazhma Frogh’s blog, she is a women rights activist and travels frequently to provinces, the post about her trip to Daikundi is really interesting and for me, heart-breaking too. She describes the physical character of Nili, the provincial capital and the depth of poverty striking that forgotten land and people.
Daikundi, along with Bamiyan, are the safest places in Afghanistan; in the former, the country’s first and only female mayor is working and in the latter, Afghanistan’s first and only female governor is deployed, but still it seems that these places, in particular Daikundi doesn’t merit any attention. The government’s exclusion of Hazarajat from development plans is understandable, because the people are Hazaras, no one expect more from this government. But why the international aid agencies are not willing to help these people in humanitarian and development aids? Some of these agencies misuse the peacefulness and open-mindedness of Hazaras and distribute talking bibles in their villages to “save” them from their miseries. These savors should know that if they do the same in any other parts of Afghanistan, the people would cut their heads and shove them somewhere in their bodies. This is the ultimate shamelessness to manipulate the poor to sell them some fairy tales while they have already enough of their owns. Most of the international aid agencies working in Afghanistan are either funded by individual donations or taxpayers money. In either way they have an ethical obligation to justly distribute the aid to all people in need. They should revise their politicized aid policies. That school teacher in a small town in the US who donated $5 to charity after seeing a sad picture of Afghanistan on the news, will not forgive the aid agencies in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, if they only obey the politicians.
The photo above is taken by my cyber friend, Muzaffar Ali. He is a very good photographer based in Daikuni, working for the UN. His photography is my only source of visual knowledge of homeland, so far (to see his collection of photos from Daikundi click here). The UNAMA has an office in Daikundi, but I assume the only thing they are doing there is taking photos of these people to show them in New York, and raise more money to spend in Kabul and Kandahar.