Friday, March 09, 2007

Every Cloud etc.

The collapse of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has rejuvenated the kite making industry, reports Time magazine:

In the first heady days after the fall of the Taliban in December 2001, men shaved, music blasted on car stereos and kites took to the air. For Noor Agha, Kabul's best kite maker, business has been soaring ever since.
Isn't that lovely? Kites. What could be more cheery?

Agha's factory is his living room, where he has put his two wives and 11 children to work, cutting, shaping and gluing the intricate tissue-paper mosaics that make his kites stand out for their beauty and superior handling. The secret is in the glue, he says, holding up a pot of evil-smelling green paste. "No one knows my recipe for making a glue that stays perfectly flat when it dries, without rippling the tissue paper," he says.
Say what?

Business is so good these days that Agha has had to teach his wives how to make kites. He proudly calls one of them "the second best kite maker in Kabul," although he insists that she will never be as good as he is. "I have 45 years' experience. She'll never be able to catch up." His 6-year-old daughter may have a better chance. Already she is making her own kites to sell to neighborhood children at one afghani (2¢) apiece.
My God. The man's a monster! What have we done?! Quick, someone, organize a boycott and we can run this guy out of business. Does George Bush know this is happening?


Reidski said...

As it says here - - kites are not just a pastime in Afghanistan but more a national obsession. I find it fascinating, but, then again, not much else to do on a Saturday at work ...

Bock the Robber said...

I like the way they stick tiny splinters of broken glass along the string to attack their opponents' kites and slash them out of the sky.

So much better than fucking about in the park.

Will said...

I used to like flying my Peter Powell stunt kite. they were fucking great.