Friday, September 30, 2005

international tongue twister

i thought you might like this it's probably the world largest tongue twister website. i loved the persian and polish sections. this is a great resource for afghan media espicially radio to use and update, or maybe create their own. interactive programs are still very few in afghan radio sector and it's one of the most important part of the radio industry. this could be used to create interactive radio programs. i think tongue twisters, jokes, proverbs and poems are a profound part of afghan culture and bringing afghan culture into the media scene is something which needs to happen. if i ever get to have some free time i'll create a website with afghan proverbs, jokes, tongue twisters and folkloric stories to be used as a resource center by media.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Warsaw Diary

I’ve got a camera now, and I could start to do my program. I would like to find someone who could be part of it and help around, it’s not gonna be a lot of fun if I just do it all by myself. We are meeting with the minister of foreign affairs, Adam Daniel Rotfled. he is apparently a super clever guy. He is widely respected by Sejm, the government and the public. Foreign ministers have become extremely important and it’s one of the strongest positions in the government since the beginning of 90s.
In the volatile period of 1989 -1993 there was a lot of struggle in side the government and state to push their agendas and priorities and they were stepping on each other toes regularly, but one thing lech walesa, Hanna suchacka (as head of government) and sejm agreed upon was to have a strong foreign minister who is dealing with international policies. I’ll try to film the meeting/ceremony; not exactly sure how long it’s gonna last and what we’ll discuss, but I guess he wanna make sure that we don’t party too much as his ministry is paying for us ;-) just back from partying with guys who’ll leave for Poznan, Krakow and wroslow and it’s 0505 in the morning

Monday, September 26, 2005

Went to the theater today to watch a famous polish play called z’ezdenia ‘the slaughterhouse’ by amirslov xx. It was about an artist (musician) who was at the same time a butcher; it’s about his struggle to find his place in the world among art, love, family and intellect. It’s a post modernistic play with weirdly linked scenes and an unexpected ending. At the end the guy committed suicides as he thinks it’s some kind of achievement not many people gets to do ….. I know …it’s bizarre …
it’s different than common plays now days with the very American influence of happy ending. shit happens but at the end every thing is zaebicz It’s getting too much… I don’t like it much anymore.
I like amirslov, he has got his own style. I’ve been looking in museums for one of his famous paintings, but no joy yet. It’s the simple portrait of a man with single lines forming his body, hands and legs. Several circles one inside another is shaping his head; and it says at the bottom “Why didn’t De Vinci paint me?”

Sunday, September 18, 2005

warsaw diary

Tima (sorry if I have misspelled your name) just walked to me very happily in the library and whispered
- wylbory
- what
- afghanchikam wylbory
- the election?
- Tak
- Yes, polling is today.

Not everyone in Poland knows that election is happening in Afghanistan. But a lot of people knew about it today. So, the election is happening, I think it’s a political process not a change. It’s not gonna change anything; it’s a step toward a stable Afghanistan. There is gonna be a lot of problems (I’d rather call them issues) after the election when the national assembly start working. I think the SNTV sets up a bad precedent the way parliament will function. It’s gonna be drastically fragmented and hard to get any legislation out of it. There is gonna be no parties and it’ll be very difficult for civil society to lobby the parliament. not many parliamentarian will be educated, even not at least high school degrees. The parliamentarian will come from rural Afghanistan and they are commonly illiterate. They will be super dependent on professional staff and deputies; and the same thing which happened in Poland between 89-93 will be repeated in Afghanistan …. (visit congress library for info)
This is the best case scenario.
The worst would be if there are bad intentions, and that would be when warlords, extremists, westernists, mullahs, karzaists and etc start fighting each other.

Warsaw diary

Poles are quite open and getting opener comparing with a few decades ago and other Slovak nations. My polish mates interact with me the same as they do with the poles, but I’ve noticed some other Slovaks do not interact with others the same as they do with their countrymen, even with foreigners they know well. Poles are being as funny with me as they are with other poles, and I consider this openness.
Obviously, this is a generalisation and it’s an impression, NOT an opinion.

Warsaw Diary

Life has been quite interesting over the weekend as I get to hang out with the people. I have been wondering around Warsaw in the last thirty five hours; went to the mall, museums, pubs, restaurants, libraries… weekend is quite lively here as oppose to workly which is the other five days of the week.
It was great as I saw Poles life and it’s great to have a life ;-) it’s great because it’s pure life separate from other things. Things are important but they are part of life not the whole life and it’s great to have the ability to separate things from life for a couple of days.
A lot was happening in the old town and centruim, people were getting married, there were several matches and concerts. There was a running match so the road was closed to traffic. The athletes were running for fun and the pedestrians were running for life. The Pop concert sounded quite interesting, I wanted to watch or photograph or dance; but my friend Nathia can’t stand heavy pop music, so I skipped it.

One of the most interesting things for me in Poland is I get to know people from zero and I achieved quite well over the weekend.
I think there are people who are genuinely nice and they are friendly to anyone. Genuine nice people or ‘humanists’ like people as they are and don’t have much exceptions; often they don’t like those who doesn’t like people.

Some people like those who are like them and share the same things and values, they are naturally part of the same social group and didn’t have much choice in choosing to be part of where. This is an easy way to be part of a community (and being part of a community is what everyone needs). ‘communitist’ find each other and it doesn’t take them very long to understand each other, because they all know what each other expects and they behave accordingly.

Others connect on the basis of their common values/ interests/statue. You could have a very good situation in a certain place or certain job but you might disconnect as your statue or interest change. My favourite one is friends with a common language, people who has different backgrounds but are in a place which they don’t speak the language of the country but they speak common language.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

An Afghan Diary in Warsaw

My only and biggest problem is meeting people and making friends. People are reluctant to spend time with others unless they know them or feel familiar with them.
I’ve made some friends but they are not yet ready to spend time with me. Whenever I ask them if they want to hang out. They say ‘let me see’ ‘I’ll let you know when is best for me’ ‘I’ll call you’…
I’ve realised people in my circle (Polish academic circle) are not that open to new people and for one reason or another they need more time to mix up with others.

What I definitely don’t like is colonies or clubs, i.e. Georgian club, Belarusian club… Some of the students have started to form their own clubs and it’s not good. They’ll live and interact with certain walks of mind which isn’t different from their past experience, so it won’t be very educational and fun. Perhaps, clubs are an obstacle for free and cross cultural integration of people.

An Afghan Diary in Warsaw

First Week:

It’s Monday September 5th 2005; I arrived into Warsaw airport around noon. I was in the plane or transit on a bench in the last fifteen hours. I’ve already noticed a lot of changes in the way people interact and execute things. I flew from Kabul to dubai, dubai to Istanbul and Istanbul to Warsaw. Most contrasting changes I’ve noticed in the last 15 hours – which I would have normally slept – in these four airports includes, convenience, services are more designed to facilitate things as oppose to the traditional way of my part of the world complicating things. there are restaurants and lounges to relax, proper toilets, people actually wait in the queue which is a great convenience.
In Kabul airport a friend who is a cop at the airport helped me skip the lines and don’t wait at all and go straight to the lounge.
Especial attention has been paid for handicaps. Stairways, WCs and other public facilities are handicap friendly, while this is not common in Afghanistan with around three million handicaps.
There is less and less people in each of the planes I get into; when flying from Istanbul to Warsaw I was the only person in the row. Apparently, having some seats empty is for some flight safety reason.

The other difference is in cops and security personnel aggressiveness; they are more relaxed as you come toward Europe. They probably do the same job, but they treat people with more respect. They ask for a document when its needed and different people ask for the papers they are supposed to see; not exactly like Afghanistan where a cop needs to see everything and so does the flight attendant and so does….

Also women are losing some cloths and they are getting increasingly naked (if I may use that term). It’s hard to stop steering at parts of their body when / if talking to them ;-)))
They also seem more independent and relaxed. They do things more comfortably, for example they’ll run if they are to catch a flight in the last minutes, which they wouldn’t normally do in conservative Muslim countries.

- Djien’ dobry
- Djien’ dobry
- … …
- How long are you intended to stay in Poland?
- Ye’den Rok
- Woo lalaaaaa …. You wait here…

So of course like everywhere else I got a little special treatment and hospitality. Around 200 passengers got checked in whom I was before and then they let me go in.
As I was going from security to security I felt a different kind of sense of humour(but can’t still call it Pole, because I don’t know them that well) the cops go excited by things which weren’t that exciting for me and their excitement was very perceptible. It was also very invariable and steady. One of the cops was saying “woo lalaaaaaa” every time he got excited. But it was the same ‘woo lalaaaaa’ to different exciting things. It was like he has to be / get excited. It was definitely making him feel different, most likely in a good way. For a moment I thought we all need to get happy and excited it’s not for fun sake, it’s a need; people do it in different ways.
It was Victor’s birthday yesterday. We were having drinks on the roof of the hostel. There were Poles, Ukrainians and Belarusians. They were all speaking in their languages, but they understand each other. At one point Ivan was struck by this and he shouted out ‘guys, have you realised we all speak in different languages but we understand each other’ and everybody laughed.
Makar said after a few minutes ‘there are only a few chromosome differences between mankind and monkey and it isn’t much. We are all human. We should understand each other’

The major difference during the last week was not about people; I don’t think cultural shock is connected to people. Although people speak different languages and has diverse values, but they are not that different. On the other hand things and ‘life tools’ could be very different. It’s the place one need to adjust to not the people. I am now eating different food, using different kind of transportation and I have to do chores such as laundry. This is all a change.

Went on a nice excursion on Friday, a nice place, around 60km west of Warsaw. It was organised by the university. Everyone was invited, only if they were singing a song. I had to sing and surprisingly contrary to what everyone else think the party thought I was a good singer and I was invited to sing again. We performed a folkloric polish dance. it was interesting and challenging.
Parties are a good place to know everyone on their personal counts; Crazy dancers, sociables, depressed, seclusionist…. We have all of them in our group. Among all I liked a seventeenth century song called ‘Sokole’ and you could listen to it here it’s about a soldier going to war and his lover praying for his save return….

Something just crossed my mind about sharing my Warsaw experience with others.
I probably could do a five minute weekly TV program. “An afghan diary in Warsaw”. I’ll suss out if it could be aired in Tolo or Ariana or RTVA.

- life in Warsaw and more generally in Poland
- my life, what I do, my friends, my colleagues – maybe one friend guest every week.
- Polish prospective and knowledge of Afghanistan and its issues. Different people, ages, gender, professions… Universytet Warszawski professors to a McDonald’s waitress…
How to do it:
- the possibility of doing it in corporation with a TV channel in Warsaw. If the channel could help to provide a camera and a cameraperson, in return they could also broadcast it.
- Ask the embassy for assistance, if they could buy a camera? UNESCO?