Friday, November 20, 2009

Tribute to Sangar

A bright, witty fixer and colleague, Sangar Rahimi, provided comic relief throughout a week-long journey in remote Badakhshan province. So this is for him and for me, so I don't forget how much we laughed.

(Imagine a dry delivery with an Afghan accent.)

During a meeting with a group of 12 shura leaders, Sangar overheard a whispered remark from one of the men after New York Times staffer Sabrina Tavernise told them her age: "Look at your wife and then look at her."

While shooing away a crowd of gawking Afghan men from a market where I was shooting: "Come on guys. They are human beings just like you."

He told us later about the same group of staring men: "I heard one excited guy say to another guy, 'There is a show here.' "

"I worked with Adam B. Ellick [a New York Times colleague]. He is such a good guy. Adam B. Ellick was not happy with the internet, it was too slow. Have you ever worked with Adam B. Ellick?"

After a night in a terrible hotel with dirty sheets and tiny smelly bathrooms in Faizabad: "My bathroom, it was like a grave."

"I feel your pain."

At 6 a.m. one day, Sangar waited 45 minutes outside the only bathroom for a fellow guest house patron to finish. "When the man finally came out," Sangar later told us at breakfast, "he advised me, 'Go ahead, the water is very hot.' "


Mike said...

I just learned more in ten minutes reading your blog than the Spokesman Review has told in a year about Afghanistan - thank you!

Thanks to Kevin Taylor for doing your story in the Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Mike Petersen

Mike said...

Hi Holly, loved the Inlander article.I don't understand how a beautiful and diverse people in a beautiful and diverse country allow such violents and uglyness in their lives."Can Afganistan ever be a happy place?" Mike Kincella,Deerpark Wa. Formally of Mt. also