Those darn Muslims! They have over complicated life. Perfectly good countries on the verge of destruction in the name of some twisted ideology. Between the Communist Russians and the bastard Mullahs, who preach a twisted ideological view of Islam, which mind you are alien to the Prophetic ways. A whole nation was turned upside down. Afghanistan, particularly Kabul was considered the Paris of Asia. A culturally rich city, filled with music, dance, and life. Over night it was destroyed, for what? At whose expense, but the people of that land. The people were stripped of all their rights, stripped of their dignity and honor. Women and Men both made to conform to an extremely narrow interpretation of Islamic Shariah - which mind you is very much alive within Bay Area Mosques today, except it has been package very cleverly to make it appear western sounding, thus palatable to the vast majority who with folding hands will blindly listen to whats being preached from the pulpit.
The movie, Kite Runner, based upon Khaled Hosseini's novel provides a vivid snapshot of the pre Soviet/Taliban Afghanistan era, it essentially is a flip of the same coin.
The life depicted in pre Soviet Afghanistan, of a young boy Amir, or Amir Jan, as he was loving referred to as, and his friend, Hassan, which many years later he learns was actually his half brother, not just the servants boy.
Amir's early childhood reminds me a little of my own childhood. In the sense, I tended to keep to myself, was quite, didn't have many friends. Most of the time, when not at School, or with family, would spend time by myself, playing, constructing with lego, sand, clay, or playing with our Afghan (Pathan) servant boys Anwar and Ali.
This was the early 80's in Pakistan, US-USSR war was in full swing. While Pakistan, under the austere dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq, 'Marde-Momin Marde-Haq, Zia-ul-Haq, Zia-ul-Haq' were slogans I heard uttered by my mother and several of her WAF activists, was in every respect the United States instrument that pushed the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Not without the emergence of the Afghan Soldiers of God, or Mujahadeen, who later after the war became known as the Taliban.
It was later, after the Soviets where driven out that the Taliban, under the leadership of the ISI , and authority of the CIA, ruled Afghanistan until the 2nd Aghan War of the modern era.
However, this time it was a war between former allies, the Taliban/Al Qaeda on one side, and U.S/Pakistan on the other, under yet another dictator of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf. A dictator, who unlike his predecessor General Zia was packaged by his overlords in Washington to appear like a liberal, and progressive ruler.
Amir Jan spent his early life in Afghanistan, and then later in the US, specifically right here in the backyard of the Silicon Wadi, Fremont where he, with is father Agha Sahib took refuge. Agha Sahib, not to forget, and from what could be gathered from the movie and the novel, was a sort of revolutionary personality in pre-Soviet Kabul. He spoke against Communism, while at the same time attacking the "bearded, good for nothing Mullahs".
Life in the U.S. wasn't easy, as for many people who immigrate from wore torn countries. Amir, raised in a privileged household saw and experienced, unlike many of us professionals of the Silicon Wadi immense hardship. However, with their Afghan communities support they were able to overcome the extreme hardship Again, something I can personally relate to, or rather as a witness to of my families unfortunate times here in the US - much of which can be attributed to the volatile economic situation in Pakistan. Which, in many respects can be related to the events following the Soviet Afghanistan era, the influx of drugs and Afghan refugees, and emergence of the Kalashnikov culture.
Copyright C. Abdulrahman Rafiq