Monday, March 31, 2008

Amazing and provocative art

A dear friend just pointed me an amazing and provocative website documenting an art exhibit called Running the Numbers - An American Self-Portrait which I highly recommend. Give it the necessary time to download (if you have to cope with narrow bandwidth the way I do).

One image, for instance "Depicts 30,000 reams of office paper, or 15 million sheets, equal to the amount of office paper used in the US every five minutes."

I won't embed any images here because they need to be viewed on at least your full screen for proper effect. (I'd really love to see the actual exhibition.) Look at the site.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

First wedding photo set

We've put some photos from my camera here. We hope to insert others soon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ms S. and Tom are getting married

Ms S., or 'Sharky'

I admit it: I've been placing teasers on my Skype(tm) and Crackbook profiles about getting married tomorrow. Yes it's true - and yes, it's been fast but it's also totally wonderful.

Sharky and I met here in Kabul in November when I was working for an International NGO and she was working for a national NGO. We didn't speak the first time I went to her office but we caught each other's eyes and I thought a lot about her afterwards and worked hard to make another meeting there happen. When I went to that meeting she wasn't there and I was sad but she came in at the end and I gave her my card, not knowing whether or not she spoke English. But Sharky is a very westernized Afghan who has actually lived in Afghanistan less than I have.

I'm too shy to explain all the ways she's incredible and we're too worried about some security and cultural circumstances for me to reveal almost anything of her biography but we are in love and we are marrying tomorrow evening. Watch this space for pictures.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wikipedia entry

I'm a huge Wikipedia fan but I only recently thought I could contribute something to this wonderful resource. I was reading this article on burqas and thought it could benefit from a remark about trends in burqa use in Kabul. I contributed the underlined part of the following:

"Before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the chadri was infrequently worn in cities. While they were in power, the Taliban treatment of women required the wearing of a chadri in public. Officially, it is not required under the present Afghan regime, but local warlords still enforce it in southern Afghanistan. Burqa use in the remainder of Afghanistan is variable and is observed to be gradually declining in Kabul. Due to political instability in these areas, women who might not otherwise be inclined to wear the chadri must do so as matter of personal safety."

That's it. My claim to fame.