22 January 2017

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Saturday January 14, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Long before, Kabul had hosted harsh winters with heavy snowfall and cold weather as in previous winters snowfall was unprecedented in Kabul and other provinces especially in mountainous places. The snow was too heavy that even young boys had made stairs from snow upon which they climbed to the top roofs of their houses.
The yards and streets of Kabul were full of snow. When the people cleaned snow of their roofs, the snow formed a small hill. All the streets were closed for vehicles and pedestrians. Despite of these situations, the Kabul inhabitants took heavy snowfall as a good omen and cheerfully welcomed it as sometimes the thickness of snow on the ground was over one meter.
The Kabul municipality employees were quite active and alerted despite of their limited resources and snow cleaning equipment and snow sweeping machineries and cleaned snow from all the capital main roads and streets and even often transported it by trucks out of the city. The heavy snowfall seldom affected or disturbed daily activities of Kabul citizens.
On the advent of winter, people called the first snow as the dried snow. Youth and teenagers had made snow effigies and played with them. When the weather was changing and warming, fall of wet snow was started that often affected plants and broken branches of trees, cut power cables. When the weather was too cold due to heavy snow, another kind of snow that was called “Brinjak”, was fallen and people called it as “Snow eater” that was the sign of the weather warming and melting of snow on the ground. People became cheerful of dried snow especially if it was Thursday night. People said that tomorrow is Friday, we well organize a collective picnic, make snow man. They conducted snow fighting. The snow man was both from human being or animals. Children were particularly happy when they slipping on the ground covered with iced snow. It seemed that as if they pass over high mountains. Some people made snow tunnels through which they passed in narrow streets. The height of snow was almost equal or higher than the compound walls of houses. Even during heavy snow, the gates of houses remained closed and people had a lot of problems to sweep the snow and open the gate. Sometimes, people had to sweep the snow of their roofs even two or three times a day. They started snow sweeping even at midnight to prevent possible damaging of their houses. The homes were usually made of mud or sundried bricks with high possibility of destruction. Adjacent neighbors had often helped their near residents to clean each other’s roof’s snow.
During snow sweeping days, one of the tradition was this that people cooked an especial food called “Kachi” with animal oil and served it after snow cleaning. On the winter snowy nights, families cooked dried meat or “Landi”, Shoulay Ghorbandi, Kecheri Qoroot and served it together. It was prepared by different families’ respectively family members and their friends and relatives or neighbors sit around and spent the nights with narrating folkloric stories and poetical contests. All those who were invited were sincere to each other and had real friendship with their families even to that extent that if was difficult to distinguish them if they were members of a single family, relative’s friends or neighbors. People of old Kabul used to heat their homes with heaters firewood as fuel or another traditional but cheap heating mean called Sandali which is commonly used in Afghanistan and Iran during winter. It is a wooden cubic shape low table with a height of 50-60cm and sides of approximately more or less 100cmx60cm covered with a big quilt with an area of 3mx4m or something like that. Under Sandali people put an electric stove or some other heater. During telling narrations or poetical contest, they prepared tea both black and green and served walnut, green raisin or pine apples. If there was heavy snow fall on that night, early morning they swept snow of the roofs collectively.
Heavy snow fall was usually welcomed and appreciated by all people and it was believed that snow produces plenty of water for drink and irrigation and harvests will increase and as a result grains prices would decrease. Sometimes the weather was too cold that if someone touched the doors’ handle or chain, it was immediately frozen. Even the snow drops on people faces, beards or mustaches were frozen. But despite of that, people liked snow. During winters, even main roads and highways like Salang tunnel were blocked for several days and traffic flow was stopped. But unfortunately, now for several years we lack heavy snowfall while people expect it like before.
Karima Malikzada
 

Saturday January 14, 2017

Jalalabad City (BNA) Cash and foodstuffs have been distributed to hundreds displaced and returned families from Pakistan in eastern Nangarhar province.
Ghulam Haidar Faqirzay head of refugees and repatriation department of the operation told BNA, in this round 300 returned and displaced families were assisted, which 16,000 Afghanis and foodstuffs have been distributed for each family.
Efforts underway to assists the displaced and destitute families in the province. 
 

Friday January 13, 2017
Kabul (BNA) Afghanistan is among those countries in which rate of environment pollution is gravely increasing and for removal of this threat no step has been taken by either the government or the international organizations. Environment problems include deforestation, destruction of irrigation systems, poppy cultivation, accumulation of sewage waters, mine fields, change of agricultural fields to residential areas, hunting and smuggling of birds, drilling of illegal septic wells, excessive movement of vehicles on roads etc. In most parts of the country, very big generators are used for power supply, which consume thousands liters fuel that its smoke create extraordinary environment concerns. So other options including generation of hydropower, wind power solar power etc should be used by people. At present the Kabul citizens are mainly suffering more than other places from environmental problems. Air pollution, traffic jams, increasing urban population have made life intolerable for over 6million people. The Kabul city has the capacity of only 40000 vehicles while at present over 300000 vehicles are moving on the roads on daily basis.
In order to move from one part of the city to other part, the citizens have to spend many hours especially during rush hours. Environmental problems are not alone in Kabul but other provinces are facing it in different way. Every year due to floods, in north and west of Afghanistan, heavy damages inflicted to the agricultural fields and residential areas besides claiming life of many rural. Environmental experts consider one of the reasons behind floods in Afghanistan cutting of trees and illegal deforestation that is going on here in the last 30 years. Before the civil wars and war on terror, Afghanistan was globally reputable for its forests and Z00 life. Trees with over 300 years old had covered mountains in eastern, northern parts of the country. Badghis pistachio forests were famous throughout the country. Beside their natural beauty and economic importance forests and trees cause filtration of air and prevent floods and create proper environment for animal breeding and Z00 live. This issue enjoys high importance in Afghanistan. Environmental experts say that in previous years of lawlessness due to illegal trees business by locals and foreign smugglers, thousands trees were eliminated in Paktya, Kunar, Nooristan and Laghman provinces. Nevertheless, we expect the responsible authorities of the NUG to invite serious attention to environment and upon hearing the alarm, undertake drastic steps and people should also contribute the government.
Lailuma Noori

Thursday January 12, 2017

Kabul (BNA) In Afghan culture, dowry is one of the worst traditions has since long made households not to resort to marrying their sons/daughters.
A youngster from Kabul, Rohullah said he can’t seek marrying with a girl as he can’t afford the dowry the bride household sets. “Dowry has considerably increased and families can’t pay for, as the girls’ families have wide expectations for what they said had to provide for their daughters while going to their house for courting,” said Rohullah who asked the government for preventing such a tradition that would lead to failure of most of the youth to resort to negative activities when seeking enough money to pay for their marriage. Some women rights activists believed the plan if could work for the marriage of the young girls and boys, is what should be sought within the families themselves in the first step as they are the only ones could tackle their families disputes, through wise decisions that may not lead to household disputes in the future. An activist and female House member, Safia Seddeqi told that the government should do its best to prevent it. “Young boys can’t continue their education, girls remain restricted inside houses and future disputes within the families due to high dowry is inevitable, if the heinous tradition was not prevented by both households and the government,” said Seddeqi who blamed the government for incompetence in this field. Some broke households are reportedly vending their underage children against money, a vicious marriage plan on which the Ministry of Hajj and Islamic Affairs should be asked for, due to failure to even discuss the issue with the related organs.
Beating, murder or the so-called honor killings, underage marriages and the worst one, high many for marriage (dowry) are among the causes that could be against the law and violation against women rights in the country. In Ghor province, religious scholars resorted to prevention of high dowry (wedding gift) and asked the people not ask for high intolerable money when marrying their daughters. They said most of violence in the province emerged from asking high marriage money, an act could result in family disputes in the future. Mawlavi Abdul Khaleq Haidari a member of the Ghor provincial religious scholar said a gathering of the scholars was set to denounce suicide and self-murder due to rise of violence cases in the households, mostly emanating from high dowry in the province. The Ulama Council has resolved that high dowry should be prevented among the households as it was illegal and against religious teachings. Provincial women rights chairman, Massuma Haidari also said poor culture and poverty were behind growing cases of violence and asking for high marriage fees. She said she has found that most cases of violence in the province have been emerged from the households’ asking for high cashes when courting a girl for marriage. Ghor governor, Naser Khazea said he supported the resolution of the religious scholars in this field and is ready to provide them with all cooperation in this respect.
Shukria Kohistani
 

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