Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Can Rory Stewart Fix Afghanistan?

If you're into the concept of national sovereignty, central governments and all that kind of stuff, then Afghanistan is a seriously beautiful but broken place.
I happen to believe strongly that Afghanistan is, in fact, ungovernable, as a succession of foreign occupiers have learned to their dismay.
But that doesn't mean that the culture and history of this wild place should not be preserved, and that's where Rory Stewart enters the big picture.

Stewart is the author of "The Places In Between," (2004) one of the best travel cum history books to come down the pike in a long time.

Stewart, a fearless (or fearlessly insane) Scotsman, walked the 600 miles of Afghanistan from western to eastern border to border alone in 2002 not long after the U.S.-led invasion repelled the Taliban. (Okay, Stewart had the company of a dog for much of the trek, but you don’t want to know what happened to it.)

It should go without saying that Stewart fell in love with
Afghanistan and has started a foundation to help save Old Kabul.

Click here for a National Geographic Adventure story on his efforts and here for a photo essay.

Photograph by Aaron Huey

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