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Afghan Kite Distribution Goes Haywire!
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Afghan Kite Distribution Goes Haywire!

Mr. Abdul Manem Danish had found himself in the midst of an unexpected and peculiar predicament. Everyone around him was for a better word, behaving like animals. He was then beginning to see that his job as a surveyor was becoming more and more futile.

Mr. Danish's job was to administer a survey to see whether the pro 'rule of law' and 'equality of women' festival, had any impact on the attendees' attitudes toward justice. Event sponsored kites, Afghani constitutions and justice-themed comic books were being given away by a donation from the United States in order to promote Afghanistan's formalized justice system.

Although the festival was planned and envisioned as a wonderful and peaceful event, the actual event did not take place in the hoped for manner. No one had expected the event to be authoritatively snatched away by the local pigs.

Policemen at times stray from the path of protecting civilians for many reasons. Political, corruption, personal agendas, emotional or mental instability are just a few of the more common reasons. The small children who eagerly struggled to get to the front of the masses to reach the kite distributing tents, were beaten with sticks for overcrowding. Some of the policemen threatened the kids with their sticks and others would slap them in the face.

The police even began loading one of their trucks with the kites that were supposed to be distributed. When the leader of the Criminal Investigation Division was asked why his man was taking them, he stated that the man was his bodyguard, and not a policeman.

Even though the event was clearly promoting gender equality, it was pretty obvious from the look of the community that the people were still just making their first steps. Of the children who managed to get their hands on the kites, only a few were girls. A girl who had obtained a kite had hers taken away by her father and given to his son instead. He merely stated that since the boy was his son, he ought to have one.

Kids had also taken a liking to the law and justice comic books. A few boys decided to take the matters into their own hands, or actually, into their pants. When the illiterate policemen got fed up with them, they promptly grabbed a bunch and got rid of them into the dirt. However, the chief of the 16th Police District seemed to still have an idea of what the event was about: keeping the children from wandering around in the streets and getting people together so that they could understand what a rule of law justice system is. According to him, the stolen kites were being taken away by the policemen so that they themselves could fly them.

Original Article: September 2010, "Afghan Equality and Law, but With Strings Attached". NY Times. Afghan Boy Kite Image is May 26, 2011 from The Boston Globe


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