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Posted by admin on 2019-01-12 in 上海性息 with No Comments


As our aircraft approached Kabul airport, I was much more emotional than I would ever have imagined.

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Tears filled my eyes as I waited for my introduction to the country of my birth.

The soaring mountains surrounding the city reminded me of the Swiss Alps and offered the promise of beauty and sophistication, a reality unrealized as soon as we landed on this dry and desolate land.

PHOTO GALLERY: Inside Afghanistan

VIDEO DIARY: Return To Kabul

The heat was oppressive as I walked across the runway to the airport building; the sights and sound were bombarding my ears as I tried to make sense of the language and people. Yes I speak Dari, but it was immediately obvious that I was a foreigner in my country of birth.

This was not the greeting I had anticipated, I was viewed with suspicion and distrust, especially when I identified myself as a journalist.

My relatives were there to meet me, which was a huge relief, as the stares from the officials and most of the Afghan men at the airport were starting to worry me. Now, I like attention as much as the next girl but the thought of being kidnapped and sold for a couple of hundred dollars was a real concern and as I was informed later, a real possibility.

My relatives drove me through the city, which seemed like a dry, dusty and dangerous Wild West town. I was relieved when we finally stopped at a large house, where a massive family celebration had been planned.

It seemed that half of Kabul was related to my family and had turned up for the party. As it was Ramadan, there was to be no food until sunset.

When it arrived, the dinner was abundant and varied and the questions flowed all night. Mostly people wanted to know why I was here and could I arrange for them to stay in Australia? Others asked me to send some money so that they could complete their schooling.

As I found my way around the house, I began to realise how lucky I am to live in Sydney with such modern amenities and comforts. My relatives’ house was modern by Afghan standards, but it was basic compared to what I’m used to.

I can only think that there is a huge market for sanitary ware in Afghanistan and the sooner it starts the better!

Electricity is another comfort that I use on a daily basis and never give a second thought to. I remember lighting candles around my apartment in Sydney and thinking it was so romantic. I was soon to learn that people in Kabul live by candle-light most evenings, as power is simply not available.

I also learned how lucky I am in Sydney to have access to clean, running water 24 hours a day. In Kabul, water only flows every second day. I watched children as young as three rushing downstairs, excited that the water was about to be turned on to fill their buckets. It was all a game to them, but I found the scene both touching and sad.

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