Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Opium, heroine, hashish... Oh my...

After the constant rain of Abbottabad the dry desert like filth and dust of Peshawar was a welcome change. I had the absolute honor to witness something quite amazing. My mother met with a family that was very dear to my grandmother, like a sister in fact. My mother had not seen these people in over 50 years. It was truly something I will never forget. This area of the North West Frontier Province is filled with fair skinned beautiful people. I even came across the National Geographic worthy Afghani/Pattan looking girl with the slightest of freckles, the tiniest of nose rings and the most amazing innocent eyes that take you to some amazing place where there is silence enough to hear the leaves of the trees pass on messages of the universe. I'm thinking of going back just to get a shot of this unbelievably stunning innocence and beauty.

I did however come across the unsavory in Peshawar as well. It is a city that borders Afghanistan. I managed to get a chance to spend some time among the Afghan camps that the UNHCR were lending aid to for resettlement in other countries. These mud huts with their twists and turns of alleyways or thorough ways was quite a sight. With a massive yard that housed the lounge abouts and the kids playing cricket, the shear amount of people was astonishing. I also had the opportunity to be made aware of the severe substance abuse that occurs in this region. The Afghani's get to collect a profit of $80 for their marijuana plantations whereas they make 100 fold that with their opium and heroin production. You can see where the motives lie and how badly the product slips into Pakistan. This is the route of so many trading companies for centuries and centuries, it's natural that not all the trading was on the up and up. It is a sad deal to see these beautiful people succumb to something so ugly.

I wish I could have captured the images with a camera but to no avail since mine (r.i.p) was put down. I do have some good news that while I was hooked into the world wide web I managed to procure a new and improved version of my traveling camera and is on it's way from New York to me sooner than later. I plan on making a quick trip back to capture the real Peshawar that I was until now unable to see.

Peshawar is not the safest place to be, I'll admit. The American franchises are prone to be a target for a bomb threat or two, think twice about going to KFC, McDonald's or a Pizza Hut ;) The last dinner may look a little different from your perspective. For some reason I hear this news and it doesn't even effect me. These bomb attacks happen everywhere, I have no control over them, they'll go off when they go off and if I happen to be included in the newscasts of survivors or victims, I also don't have any control over that I could live my life tip toeing about trying to avoid certain situations but the long and short of it is you'll always have a story to tell and an appreciation of everything else.

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