National Geographic did a big special on the Hazarajat, which is the big central mountainous region in Afghanistan (its biggest city, strangely enough, is Kabul, 40% of whose 3-4 million inhabitants are Hazara).
Needless to say, the photography is spectacular, and deeply human.
As the country struggles to rebuild itself after decades of civil war, many believe that Hazarajat could be a model of what’s possible not just for Hazaras but for all Afghans. But that optimism is tempered by past memories and present frustrations—over roads not built, a resurgent Taliban, and rising tides of Sunni extremism.
But America’s broken promises continue to haunt the land. I wish we would do what we promised, but that is clearly far too much to expect from our elected representatives. But the story is, unfortunately, nothing new—the Hazara are still systematically discriminated against by many holding onto old tribal grudges, too many are shoved into dirty ghettos on the outskirts, and so on.
It is an old story, but it is one that bears repeating, and needs telling, again and again. And again. And again, until something eventually changes.