New York Diary presents one New Yorker’s personal take on September 11 and its aftermath. How was the immediate, unintelligible horror of the attacks digested and domesticated in the days and weeks that followed?
Today was one of the days of shooting that will go down as one of one of the most fulfilling days of not only shooting, but most fulfilling days, period. When working on a project, there is a process.
First, it’s the idea, something is here, a story, I am not sure what it is, but I can’t stop thinking about it, and I begin to shoot. Then the doubt sets in, what am I doing? Am I wasting my time and everyone else’s? And then there is the inevitable magic moment, and it always happens, where it all clicks. The hard work pays off and the moment arrives where you think, there is no other place or task that I would rather be doing than what I am doing at this moment. It is a moment of grace and flow, and when it happens, I feel extremely grateful. It motivates me when I am not feeling the “flow.” The memory and pursuit of these moments get me out of bed in the morning.Continue reading “Afghan Chronicles: Day Five, A School Gets A Library”
Nancy Hatch Dupree, the founder of the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU), has created an archive that has more than 45,000 documents she began collecting in the 1970’s, with her late husband, Louis. Continue reading “Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University: Building a School Library”
The steady stream of news from Afghanistan is dire, and has been for quite some time.
Stories of increased insurgent attacks on Afghan troops, aid workers, NATO forces, US troops, the US attacks on Afghan civilians, and the constant influx of corruption scandals within the Karzai government are the status quo.
But there are glimmers of hope.
On this day we travel to a high school in Charikar in Parwan Province, a 90- minute car drive from Kabul centre. The school does not have electricity or running water but the students have more things on their minds. Computers.
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Nancy Hatch Dupree and the ACKU staff visit the provincial council in Parwin Province to speak with local officials about the pilot ACKU library to have a library.
Nancy Hatch Dupree visits the Afghanistan Election Commission and brings representatives ABLE-published books on democracy.
After an uneventful 14-hour flight, leaving Newark Thursday night around 11 p.m., I arrive at the New Delhi Airport on Friday around 8 p.m.
When I pass the throngs of people waiting for their loved ones, I am so excited to finally arrive in India, I smile at everyone and say, “Hi India!” Some laugh, probably thinking “great, another American dork.” I meet my driver Akosh, and my buzz kill is quickly extinguished. After a perfunctory welcome, he immediately tells me how his knees hurt because he has been standing for so many hours waiting for my plane. He talks about how he is supporting his entire family, parents, in-laws on a few rupees a month. We are still five minutes from the car.
It’s freezing. I can’t believe I didn’t bring a coat. I thought it was going to be hot, especially lugging 60 pounds of camera gear. I buy a black patu or shawl. It works wonders. I am having my first night out in Kabul. Continue reading “Afghan Chronicles: Day Three, Wrong Car?”