The Gull Reef Club

5/8/2005

Walking the Wakhan

Filed under: — Jaime @ 8:17 pm

Badakhshan

Happy Sunday, beachcombers. Welcome to this week’s Sunday Postcard. Today we are traveling to the most northeast province of Afghanistan, Badakhshan.

Badakhshan is one of the most unpopulated areas of the world. Estimates I’ve found put the total population at around 50,000. Most of the citizens reside around the province’s capital, Feyzabad a/k/a Faizabad. Despite it’s primitive setting, Feyzabad does have an an airport and internet access.

These next galleries give us a brief perspective of life in Badakhshan in general: Luke Powell’s Badakhshan and the Panjsheer Valley Gallery and Assistance Afghanistan photos.

Portions of Badakhshan encompass the Hindu-Kush valley, known as the Wakhan Corridor. This map of the province gives you an idea of where the valley lies: Badakshan Map. The Wakhan Corridor is truly the middle of nowhere as the following galleries show: UNEP Environmental Assessment Gallery and Eurocorps ISAF VI, Above the Hindu Kush. I especially liked this image showing homage to a saint:

Horns of a Saint

All the infrastructure we often take for granted is completely absent in some portions of Badakhshan province. The lack of decent health care, transportation, and nutrition is discussed by Dr. Robert Simpson with Médecins Sans Frontières in his Mission in Afghanistan.

You probably have noticed the scarcity of women in the photographs that feature people. Apparently, photography of women in this area is prohibited, Women photographed by ISAF troops protest with stones in Afghanistan , Xinhua via Afgha.com. This does not really surprise me however. My initial curiosity regarding this province arose because of this recent Washington Post article: A Killing Commanded by Tradition (registration required). This is a very harsh area of the world and the women have it ten times as hard as the men. This image is particularly compelling, especially in the largest zoom Eurocorps ISAF VI, Traveling Family.

I know I will never get much closer to Badakhshan than I have today. I will miss out on the majestic geography, but I could not cut it there. Some humans are incredibly resilient.

The Gull Reef Club