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25 February 2012
The water can come back to a dried-up river,
But what about the fish that died?
This distich is the English translation of verse written in Pashto at the foot of a staircase inside the blackened ruin of Kabul’s cultural centre.
Nearby is the spray-painting of a woman in a blue burqa.
The graffiti artist is Shamsia Hassani, 24, an associate professor of sculpture at Kabul University.
In an article by Emma Graham-Harrison in the UK’s Guardian newspaper today 25 February, Shamsia Hassani said: “When I heard this poem, I thought how it was about the situation in Afghanistan. A lot of people died in the war; now the situation is better, but those people cannot come back.”
Certainly, those who have died in the current decade-long war will not be seen again.
But the situation in Afghanistan has improved? The associate professor of sculpture may have spoken too soon.
Here is what the BBC website is saying this evening:
Nato pulls out of Afghan ministries after Kabul attack
Nato has withdrawn all its personnel from Afghan ministries after two senior US officers were shot dead in the interior ministry building in Kabul.
Nato said an “individual” had turned his gun on the officers, believed to be a colonel and major, and had not yet been identified or caught.
The shootings come amid five days of deadly protests over the burning of copies of the Koran by US soldiers.
The interior ministry was put in lock-down after the shootings, officials said.
Early reports suggest the two officers were shot in the ministry’s command and control centre.
The BBC’s Orla Guerin in Kabul says eight shots were reported inside the building, which should be one of the safest in the capital, and that any Afghan who carried out the attack would have had the highest clearance.
Local media reports said the gunman was an Afghan policeman but this has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, angry protests over the burning of the Korans continued [today 25 February], with a UN compound in the city of Kunduz set alight. Four people were killed and dozens injured in clashes in the city, according to local doctors.
Nearly 30 people have died since the protests began on Tuesday.
US personnel apparently inadvertently put the books into a rubbish incinerator at Bagram air base, near Kabul.
Editorial note: For further information on the burning of the Korans, see the post “Fahrenheit 451” published yesterday 24 February 2012 by Antigone1984.