Posted by: Christian | December 1, 2007

Afghanistanica Retraction #897

November 1, 2007. [Retraction#898: Apparently it is December]

OK, last month I claimed to have tracked down Afghanistan’s last pig. It was in Doshi in the late 1980s hanging out with some Russians. Case closed.

But what do I know? Apparently if I had used the internet googler I would have found this quote from an April 2007 travel article:

The Zoo must be the saddest places in Kabul, full of mud pathways, half-collapsed buildings and forlorn animals by the banks of the polluted Kabul River. The colony of monkeys looked sickly and morose, the lone pig is pelted with stones in a country that hates them…

Throwing rocks at a helpless pig? That’s so cruel. You are supposed to cut their throats (or fire a bolt into their head), remove their head, gut them, chop them up and eat them, not throw rocks at them.

But I don’t know about Muslims hating pigs. Last year when a Texas farmer staged protest pig races next to a mosque (it’s a long story involving miscommunication on both sides), the Mosque leader Kamel Fotouh had this to say:

He said the pig races no longer bother him or his members, and they’re going ahead with their plans to construct the mosque.

Muslims do not hate pigs, he added, they just don’t eat them.

Same as me, I don’t eat pigs either. Just bacon and ham.

Back to Afghanistan. A friend of mine insisted I check out the website of a photographer she knows, Rena Effendi. She’s an amazing photographer with an impressive portfolio. What does this have to do with pigs? Well, in her Kabul photo gallery I found this photo of the Kabul Zoo:

Kabul Pigs

Well, these folks aren’t throwing rocks and the pigs look healthy. All is well that ends well. Except for me being wrong about Afghanistan not having anymore pigs.

So anyways, this is Rena. © photo by David Trilling:

Rena Effendi

Go check out her website, especially the Kabul and Azerbaijan photo galleries.


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