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|Three Meals in Afghanistan|
by possibly noteworthy at 7:21 am EST, Feb 18, 2010
First we eat, then we drink, then we talk!
Afghans have a term, ishqi watani, that refers to a deep and abiding affinity for one's people, culture, and identity. Essentially, it means an unconditional love of the homeland. But the state -- or at least what we in the West think of as a state -- has never really existed in Afghanistan. There have been attempts to bring reform through monarchy, through secularism and Communism. The country has had kings and presidents. None have matched up well with Afghans' ideas about what it means to be Afghan. Ishqi watani has helped Afghans endure thirty years of war. But it has also kept their gazes fixed upon their battles to preserve, not looking ahead to where they could go.
"We're beating the cat."
"Why are you beating the cat?"
"It's a cat-tiger strategy."