Friday, December 31, 2010

Massoud Circle

This is right next to the Embassy, as in, you walk out the security checkpoint, and there it is. Massoud Circle is a traffic-choked roundabout named after the Ahmad Shah Massoud, the hero of the Afghan resistance to the Soviets. He was assassinated in 2001. He's a towering, heroic figure. Of course, those not familiar with his likeness might mistake his portrait on the circle for Che Guevara, or Bob Marley, or anyone else with facial hair and a floppy hat rakishly draped off his head. Knowing tragically little of the history of the city, I don't really know if the monument here was re-purposed to be a Massoud monument recently or if it's recent construction. While we're busy getting into the minutiae of provincial budgets and insurgent reintegration plans, we don't learn about the geography or history of the city blocks right around us.

In a certain way that focus is surely appropriate. In another way, it's a shame.


Anonymous said...

Are those soldiers riding around on top of the dark blue truck? That doesn't seem!


Matt said...

No, the soldiers ride around on the top of MRAPs with 50-caliber guns. And they don't really do that all that much in Kabul. These guys are just Afghan dudes riding around on a truck.