My brother has just posted to his blog a link to a BBC report about a medic friend of his, Alex Duncan, who’s work is saving lives in Afghanistan. There’s also this BBC clip in which Alex waves his arms around, looking at the mountains, and saying, ‘this is my office – it’s great!’ The ‘price’ of what he is doing is that he and his family are living in a ‘typical one-roomed mud hut’ with no running water, or drains, and lots of blankets at night to negotiate the -25 degree winters. Judging by Alex’s ease and his enthusiasm, you’d think they were on holiday! (He invited me to supper once, when he was still a bachelor; he’s highly intelligent, no doubt with a good doctor’s bedside manner. He’s also in a place that’s very like the mountains of Ladakh, where I went for a holiday of a lifetime. I’d love to ask him how he came to be where he’s at.) Wonderful to see.
Update (30th September 2007)
You may not know today is the 800th anniversary of the birth of the great poet, son of Afghanistan and lifelong resident of Konya (now Turkey), Jelaluddin Rumi.
There’s a nice article, ‘The Roar of Rumi’, on the BBC’s website, about him and how he has been celebrated in Afghanistan since then – click here.