Ramadan and Skateistan

28 08 2009
Sillouette of the Mosque of the Three Balconies in Edirne, Turkey.

Silhouette of the Mosque of the Three Balconies in Edirne, Turkey.

There is no doubt that this holy month of Ramadan is a testing time for Muslim’s especially in this heat. Going without food for 15 hours is tough, without water is really difficult. I don’t envy the labourers on my site, the Jewelry School. As internationals we don’t eat or drink for 10 hours from breakfast til mid afternoon but this out of respect for the people we work with than any spiritual inspiration. People do talk about ‘when they did Ramandan’ but it’s usually half-arsed. I could probably get through a full day of Ramandan but I know it would mess up my working day even more than last night’s whisky and poker playing. On the way home yesterday I saw a fight breaking out on the steps of a mosque and earlier there had been a shooting between Afghan National Army and security guards close to us on site at Murad Khane. The waiting  from after work to break their fast at sundown seems about avoiding frustration rather than a physical demand.

Motorbiking on Turkey's European side can be a lottery but the views are always impressive

Motorbiking on Turkey's European side can be a lottery but the views are always impressive

If you thought my work here rebuilding part of Kabul’s old town is a bit leftfield you should check out Skateistan. I met Max at a party on his roof terrace. They have recently opened a skateboard park on the outskirts of town where they teach skateboarding. Mostly working for NGOs in their free time they put their time to buying skateboards so that the kids can design their own artwork for them. In the name of fun some of them have also entered the ugly dance world cup. The winner plays live in Hamburg next year. You can help their cause by clicking on Danciban which will take you to Youtube.

Above are two photos from my week in Turkey. 4 days in Istanbul with 3 days motorbiking 700km around the European part of the country, from the Black Sea to Bulgaria/Edirne and back to Istanbul via the Sea of Marmara. The roads are a lottery from smooth highway to expanses of loose gravel depending on where the roadworks finish.

New metal trough specially made to mix lime.

New metal trough specially made to mix lime.

 Building – Although things move slowly I’ve taken on a newly created role titled Murad Khane Project Manager. The idea is that overall management of the site is based in construction in MK not in administration and management up at the fort. Responsibility covers building projects, national/international architects, site engineers, infrastructure, site quality, safety, progress and costs of this 3.8 hectare site. Which should keep me busy. We’re mixing more lime to store away for a year’s curing before rendering the mud brick walls.

Duncan DJ

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