Docile Dushanbe

1 07 2010

Arched monument to Amir Ismail Samani, leader of the region around 900 AD

I’m in Dushanbe for a short trip. In some ways Tajikistan is similar to Afghanistan but without the decades of war that decimated people’s attempts for a normal life. This is of course a generalisation as Afghanistan kept Russian presence out much longer than other Central Asian countries. It seems as if the peaceful, almost dull lifestyle in Dushanbe is a deliberate attempt to keep the troubles from traversing north across the Pamir mountains.

I was speaking to a 20-year-old Tajik at the Afghan Consulate who was trying to get Afghan citizenship and move to Kabul. He said he was fed up with Tajikistan but I warned him that Kabul would be even more depressing. I’m sure those of his family that are in Kabul have said the same. Sometimes in life you have to be careful what you wish for.

Mohammad Barid, Tajikman waiting outside the Afghan consulate to become Afghaniman

So Afghaniman is actually Tajikman about to become Afghaniman. I met him again on my third day at the Afghan consulate. He reminds me of one of the younger engineers I work with in Kabul. Although life in Dushanbe is quieter my new friend told me that the education in Afghanistan is much better. In Dushanbe the education system has crumbled, often teachers don’t turn up for lessons.

There is more to come on Dushanbe including thre real reason why you would visit this sleepy capital.

Duncan DJ

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