26 September 2010

Afghan "kites for kids" stolen by Afghan police

Anyone who has read The Kite Runner knows the importance of kites in the lives of Afghan children. This week, the U.S. Agency for International Development arranged an event to give away kites to children.
For starters, Afghan policemen hijacked the event, stealing dozens of kites for themselves and beating children with sticks when they crowded too close to the kite distribution tent. To be fair, the children were a little unruly, but they were also small.

Sometimes the officers just threatened them with sticks, and other times slapped them in the face or whacked them with water bottles. "I told them to stop the policemen from taking the kites," said Shakila Faqeeri, a communications adviser for the contractor, DPK Consulting.

But the policemen appeared to ignore her. Asked why one of his officers was loading his truck with kites, Maj. Farouk Wardak, head of the criminal investigation division of the 16th Police District, said, "It's OK. He's not just a policeman, he's my bodyguard."

The district police chief, Col. Haji Ahmad Fazli, insisted on taking over from the American contractors the job of passing out the kites. He denied that his men were kite thieves.

"We are not taking them," he said. "We are flying them ourselves."
The rest of the story is at the Star Tribune link.  Ironically, the kite festival was being conducted "to promote the use of Afghanistan's justice system and increase public legal knowledge." What a totally f***ed-up country.


  1. The Star Tribune link you provided appears to be down; I tried to navigate their website myself, but was unable to locate the article. I'd like to read more of the story if you're able to re-locate it.

  2. Anon, newspaper articles on the web are notoriously short-lived. Most newspapers only allow access to past material to paid subscribers. The link I used is dead, and the site is not searchable for the article.

    The best thing to do in that situation is to take a phrase from the article you want, such as this first sentence from my post...

    "For starters, Afghan policemen hijacked the event"

    ... and insert it - with quotation marks to search the exact phrase - into Google or Google News. I just did that and found the same story at the New York Times:


    They keep their articles "up" longer than most others, but don't wait too long...



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