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  • My travels to Afghanistan

  • began many, many years ago

  • on the eastern border of my country,

  • my homeland, Poland.

  • I was walking through the forests

  • of my grandmother's tales.

  • A land where every field hides a grave,

  • where millions of people

  • have been deported or killed

  • in the 20th century.

  • Behind the destruction,

  • I found a soul of places.

  • I met humble people.

  • I heard their prayer

  • and ate their bread.

  • Then I have been walking East for 20 years --

  • from Eastern Europe to Central Asia --

  • through the Caucasus Mountains,

  • Middle East,

  • North Africa,

  • Russia.

  • And I ever met more humble people.

  • And I shared their bread and their prayer.

  • This is why I went to Afghanistan.

  • One day, I crossed the bridge

  • over the Oxus River.

  • I was alone on foot.

  • And the Afghan soldier was so surprised to see me

  • that he forgot to stamp my passport.

  • But he gave me a cup of tea.

  • And I understood

  • that his surprise was my protection.

  • So I have been walking and traveling,

  • by horses, by yak, by truck, by hitchhiking,

  • from Iran's border

  • to the bottom, to the edge of the Wakhan Corridor.

  • And in this way

  • I could find noor, the hidden light of Afghanistan.

  • My only weapon

  • was my notebook and my Leica.

  • I heard prayers of the Sufi --

  • humble Muslims,

  • hated by the Taliban.

  • Hidden river,

  • interconnected with the mysticism

  • from Gibraltar to India.

  • The mosque where the respectful foreigner

  • is showered with blessings

  • and with tears,

  • and welcomed as a gift.

  • What do we know

  • about the country and the people

  • that we pretend to protect,

  • about the villages

  • where the only one medicine

  • to kill the pain and to stop the hunger

  • is opium?

  • These are opium-addicted people

  • on the roofs of Kabul

  • 10 years after the beginning of our war.

  • These are the nomad girls

  • who became prostitutes for Afghan businessmen.

  • What do we know about the women

  • 10 years after the war?

  • Clothed in this nylon bag,

  • made in China,

  • with the name of burqa.

  • I saw one day,

  • the largest school in Afghanistan,

  • a girls' school.

  • 13,000 girls

  • studying here

  • in the rooms underground,

  • full of scorpions.

  • And their love [for studying]

  • was so big that I cried.

  • What do we know

  • about the death threats by the Taliban

  • nailed on the doors

  • of the people who dare to send their daughters to school as in Balkh?

  • The region is not secure, but full of the Taliban,

  • and they did it.

  • My aim is to give a voice

  • to the silent people,

  • to show the hidden lights

  • behind the curtain of the great game,

  • the small worlds ignored by the media

  • and the prophets of a global conflict.

  • Thanks.

  • (Applause)

My travels to Afghanistan

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B1 US TED afghanistan taliban hidden humble opium

【TED】Monika Bulaj: The hidden light of Afghanistan (Monika Bulaj: The hidden light of Afghanistan)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/03/02
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