Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The In T View: Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy


Waheed of the
Afghan Warrior Blog
is the first
native Afghani Blogger in Afghanistan.
And in the: In T View: Waheed, Afghan
Warrior For Democracy he tells of his
Heritage, Afghanistan under the Taliban,
his Love for his Mom, the Changes that
have taken Place, his Interest in Blogging,
his Work as an Interpreter for the U.S.
Military, and who's Prettier: Afghani
or Lebanese Women. . .

And a whole lot more in the
In T View: Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy


MG: Waheed, how did you become
interested in Blogging, and how did
your Blog:
Afghan Warrior
come about?

Waheed: From childhood I was
interested to be lyric or writer.
One day I went to check my email
and after I checked it I had 15 more
minutes so I went to IRC chat room
and I met Paul Edwards who persuaded
me to start my blog. My first post
got many comments and I was so
impressed and happy so I decided
to keep on blogging.

When I was 9 years old the war started
in the capital Kabul in 1992 and the
situation was very horrible. Many
rockets blasted near our house and
we had to immigrate to many places.
It is a long story to tell you and
Afghan warrior means i keep fighting
against those responsible.

MG: What is your favorite food?

Waheed:I like all kinds of food
that are cooked well. Afghan rice
beef steak is my favorite food.

MG: Without divulging anything of
a confidrential nature, what exactly do
you do in your job as a translator with
the U.S. Miltary?

Waheed: As an interpreter I go on
patrols and also communicate between ANA
and US Army. When we go on patrols we
talk with people and ask questions about
their problems and whether they have
any problem with robbery or bad guys.

MG: Is Afghanistan a very tribal
society?

Waheed: Yes, Afghanistan is a tribal
society but the tribes are united.

MG: Waheed, if it's not too
personal, could you tell me which
tribal group you belong to?

Waheed: I belong to the Tajik
tribe.

MG: And when you reached
adulthood, did you have to undergo some
sort of initiation, ritual or ceremony?

Waheed: When I reached adulthood
I was in Pakistan with my family because
the living conditions weren't good in
Afghanistan. So I really didn't have
any sort of ceremony. I was only thinking
when will I be able to go back to my
country and go back to school.

MG: What does the name Waheed mean?
Does your name have a meaning?

Waheed: My name means "united" or
"unity". In some old books it also means
"single" or "only".

MG: What's the best book you ever read?

Waheed: My favorite book is Shahnama-E-Firdawsi. This book is full of nice stories
about former kings of Afghanistan going
back 1800 years and it's full of nice
epic poems.

MG: So, do you have a favorite
sport or activity that you like to do?

Waheed: I like all sports, especially
soccer. Right now I don't have time because
I work from 4pm till 7am, but sometimes
I like to watch sports on TV.

MG: If you could go on vacation to
any place in the World, where would it
be?

Waheed: I love to travel and visit
different countries. There are many places
I would love to go e.g. US, Canada,
Australia, India, Egypt.

MG: So, how bad was it living under
the Taliban?

Waheed: When the Taliban came to
power I moved to Pakistan with my family
but I was reading the newspaper every day.
Also I was talking with people who were
coming from Afghanistan. Life was hard
and very boring. No TV channels, no music.
It was especially hard for women as they
were not allowed to work outside of their
houses. There was no education for women
and no freedom of speech.

MG: Waheed, if someone said to you
five years ago that the Taliban would be
out of power, Afghanistan would have
democratic elections, Kabul would be
being rebuilt and blossoming, women
would be actually allowed to protest
for their rights, new schools would be
being built, you would be working for
the U.S. Military and telling the world
about Afghanistan through your Blog on the
Internet, would you have believed them?

Waheed: During the Taliban regime
we wouldn't have believed that the
US Army would come to Afghanistan,
but we were hoping that one day
Afghanistan will be free. But when the
US attacked, everything changed very
quickly. I wouldn't have believed that
one day I would be working as an
interpreter and we would have 4 TV
channels and women would have their
ministry and protest for their rights.

MG: Now that Kabul has four
TV Channels, do you have a television
program you like to watch?

Waheed: I like all programs on
our TV channels, but my favorite is
Sahat-e-bashuma which gives very useful
information about new technology and
also is shows strange events. Also "hop"
program, which is a music program which
play different songs such as Indian,
Afghan, Iranian, English, Arabic

MG: Do you have any pets?

Waheed: I used to have a dog but
not now.

MG: Who's Prettier: Afghani women
or Lebanese women?

Waheed: Hahaha. I don't know which
women are prettier. I guess they are very
similar but we have some that are very pretty .........

MG: What's the strangest thing
you've ever seen in Afghanistan?

Waheed: The strangest thing I ever
saw was the 1992 war in Kabul. The rockets
were coming from everywhere and the Kabul
sky was covered by smoke.

MG: All Afghani boys love their
mothers, so what is it about your
mother that is special?

Waheed: Yes, all boys and girls love
their parents, especially their mothers.
There is a great respect for parents
in Afghanistan and I love my mother
more than anything in the world.
My mother is a special mother -
she is very smart, she is a high
school teacher. The special thing
about her is that she is really kind
to me and she always cares for me.

MG: What is the biggest problem
facing Afghanistan today?

Waheed: Afghanistan is facing a lot
of problems today. The biggest problem
we are facing is terrorism. Other problems
that we are facing are power, weak economy,
unpaved roads. We need hospitals and
universities and we must have colleges
in every province. Sports stadiums and
much more.

MG: Do you have a favorite place
you like to visit in Afghanistan
and why?

Waheed: My favorite place in Afghanistan
to visit is Panjshir and Paghman Valley.

MG: Waheed, I understand that Internet
Costs are very expensive in Kabul and that
you have a great need for a Digital Camera
and Laptop. If people want to help you with
these things, how do they go about it?
Can they make donations to your Blog?

Waheed: Internet is expensive here in
Kabul. It's impossible for people to get net connection for their homes because only few
people have digital phones. The government
hasn't issued new phone systems to the people.

They are working on it, but it might take
a long time. There are some net companies
in Kabul that issue satellite connection
which costs US$3000 for the satellite and
3 months in advance, and every month they
charge you US$300 for the lowest speed.

I am waiting to get a phone connection.
It costs US$270 to get a phone
but I don't know when they will issue
them, so most people go to net cafes.
There are almost cafes in all Kabul now.

If anyone wants to send me a second hand
laptop or digital camera they can send it
to me via the US Army mail. One guy offered
me a laptop and one guy a digital camera,
so I hope they send them.

Yes, they can donate money to my
blog
. (MG Says: Yes, you can donate
to Waheed via the PayPal button
at Afghan Warrior.)

MG: Thanks very much, Waheed,
and final question: Have you ever seen
a ghost?

Waheed: I have never seen a ghost
in real life but sometimes in my dreams.
My friend told me that he saw a ghost.



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