quote by Zainab Salbi

While women may look different, as some wear suits and others wear saris, or some cover their hair while others wear their hair loose, women need to stand together because they all face the central point of discrimination, although the extremity of which may be different from Kigali to Kabul.

— Zainab Salbi

Whopping Kabul quotations

Trying to rebuild Afghanistan on the cheap has left the country in the hands of warlords and an impotent Northern Alliance puppet regime that runs Kabul and nothing else.

No possible future government in Kabul can be worse than the Taliban, and no thinkable future government would allow the level of Al Qaeda gangsterism to recur. So the outcome is proportionate and congruent with international principles of self-defense.

Afghanistan has always been sort of a fractured nation, very tribal, where the countryside and the distant provinces have been run by custom, by tribal law and by tribal leaders rather than edicts from the central government in Kabul.

I wouldn't want to roll the dice on Kabul by myself, because I really think getting killed is definitely a possibility there. A very good possibility.

When you walk down the street of Kabul your values for life changes, they do change.

Some of the guys in the Northern Alliance are war criminals.

One of the Northern Alliance commanders ran a slave girl network in Kabul in 1994. Remember that there was a period when every woman on the streets was at risk of being raped. This was the Northern Alliance period of glory.

Kabul is... a thousand tragedies per square mile.

Pashtun nationalism is reasserting itself.

Its political history spans several hundred years. The Pashtuns are angry at the Americans because, one, they're still being bombed, and two, they perceive that the Americans are backing the Tajik faction, which controls the army and security forces in Kabul.

The strategy for peace-building in Afghanistan is economic aid, reconstruction, international security forces. On those lines, the U.S. has been extremely slow. And it has even blocked expanding security forces from Kabul to other cities.

The [George W.] Bush administration tripled its aid package to Afghanistan. [Hamid] Karzai finally (and courageously) announced that warlords will be forbidden from holding office in the future government. And finally, NATO agreed to expand the peacekeeping forces to troubled areas outside of Kabul.

I was out there for 12 days. There are more beggars in Soho than there are in Kabul.

I want you to know what I have told Australia's Parliament in Canberra - what I told General Petraeus in Kabul - what I told President Obama in the Oval Office this week. Australia will stand firm with our ally the United States.

They do believe that if we do not wage this war against terror in places like Baghdad and Kabul, we are more likely to have it waged in Baltimore and Kansas.

Kabul is a walled city, which sounds romantic except the walls are pre-cast reinforced concrete blast barriers, 10 feet tall and 15 feet long and moved into place with cranes. The walls are topped with sandbags, and the sandbags are topped with guard posts from which gun barrels protrude.

The Soviets held to the tradition of colonialism.

They raped the country and killed many people. But they also built dams, electrical power plants, streets, and technical schools. They were communists and had the same vision for Afghanistan that Stalin and Lenin had for the Soviet Union: Progress is communism plus electrification. And today? Today Kabul gets its electrical power from Uzbekistan, Herat from Iran and Jalalabad from Pakistan.

In 2001, we were told that the war in Afghanistan was a feminist mission.

The marines were liberating Afghan women from the Taliban. Can you really bomb feminism into a country? And now, after 25 years of brutal war - 10 years against the Soviet occupation, 15 years of US occupation - the Taliban is riding back to Kabul and will soon be back to doing business with the United States.

There was a time when the women of Afghanistan - at least in Kabul - were out there. They were allowed to study, they were doctors and surgeons, walking free, wearing what they wanted. That was when it was under Soviet occupation. Then the United States starts funding the mujahideen. Reagan called them Afghanistan's "founding fathers." It reincarnates the idea of "jehad," virtually creates the Taliban.

All politics are local, whether in Kabul or in Canada.

The Pashtuns feel discriminated against by the Americans because they supported the Taliban and the war is still going on in their region with continued U.S. bombing. They are also disgruntled at the overwhelming power of their ethnic rivals the Tajiks, who dominate the security forces in Kabul and control the key levers of political power. Although Karzai is a Pashtun also, many Pashtuns consider him a hostage to the Tajiks and Americans.

I came from an educated, upper middle-class family.

My mother was a Persian and history teacher at a large high school for girls. Many of the women in my extended family and in our circle of friends were professionals. In those days, women were a vital part of the economy in Kabul. They worked as lawyers, physicians, college professors, etc., which makes the tragedy of how they were treated by the Taliban that much more painful.

I experienced Kabul with my brother the way Amir and Hassan do: long school days in the summer, kite fighting in the winter time, westerns with John Wayne at Cinema Park, big parties at our house in Wazir Akbar Khan, picnics in Paghman.

Kabul was a thriving cosmopolitan city with its vibrant artistic, intellectual and cultural life. There were poets, musicians, and writers. There was also an influx of western culture, art, and literature in the '60s and '70s.

In early 1999, I was watching TV, when I came across a story on Afghanistan.

It was a story about the Taliban and the restrictions they were imposing on the Afghan people, most notably women. At some point in the story, there was a casual reference to them having banned the game of kite fighting. This detail struck a personal chord with me, as I had grown up in Kabul flying kite with my friends.

I believe Fabio Celoni's work vividly brings to life not only the mountains, the bazaars, the city of Kabul and its kite-dotted skies, but also the many struggles, conflicts, and emotional highs and lows of Amir's journey [from the The Kite Runner].

You have extreme poverty and high crime and you have to admit that the governance of the Kabul regime has been poor and has been losing its popular legitimacy. You have a corrupt police force, not to mention homelessness, joblessness. The problems are huge.

Success will only happen with Afghans leading the charge, and it is far, far more important for Kabul to create and support a purpose-driven school of architecture than to invite a high profile designer to build.

The problem is that so many of them are not getting told.

This is a massive problem, not just in the Middle East but for places from Africa to Afghanistan. There are millions of stories out there, millions of potential Booksellers of Kabul or Valentino Achak Dengs.

Speculation is a fool's game, but I've seen many political projections that look like the Taliban could hold most of the country, and possibly Kabul, within perhaps a short time.

I'd rather we were rebuilding Philadelphia, as opposed to Kabul.

..There are American cities with serious infrastructure problems and we're not addressing them.

After the war in Afghanistan, Anna [Wintour, editor of Vogue], deciding to save the world one hair-roller at a time, thought the best way to help the women in this beleaguered country was to start a small beauty school in Kabul, where aid workers could get their roots done. Vanity Fair, edited by Bush-basher Graydon Carter, cheered her great humanitarian effort.

My memories of Kabul are vastly different than the way it is when I go there now. My memories are of the final years before everything changed. When I grew up in Kabul, it couldn't be mistaken for Beirut or Tehran, as it was still in a country that's essentially religious and conservative, but it was suprisingly progressive and liberal.

Americans have eliminated Iran's worst enemies, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam [Hussein]. I occasionally threatened my Iranian counterpart in Kabul that one day I would send him a big bill for what we did. But, seriously, Iran is pursuing a dual strategy in Iraq. On the one hand, the Iranians, after decades of hostility, are now interested in good relations. On the other hand, they want to keep the country weak and dominate the region.

The warlords took part in atrocities during the civil war in Afghanistan.

They looted, they raped, they killed. They have become incredibly empowered and entrenched. They live in mansions, they have jobs in the government, and they're incredibly powerful. In Kabul, people don't want to speak about it too publicly, because these people are essentially like Tony Soprano.

If I could go to Kabul and not die, I would go back to Afghanistan as soon as I could. And, that was the most interesting place that I've been to.

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