Afghanistan Book

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Sometimes in August 2009, late afternoon, on the terrace of my typical Afghan house, long chat with my friend Florent Marcie: "This is exactly because you are "the little Anne" that your story is interesting. We talk a lot about the potential failure of the intervention in Afghanistan and it is important to show how, on the pretext of helping the country's reconstruction, we can also be separated from its population. Or even better, how certain people prefer helping at the condition of being separated from the population. But of course, how to help a country if you are not having a frank interaction with its population? The witness of the person who lives the situation, who likes the country and who has experienced different living and working conditions is irreplaceable. This person only can compare and share the evolution of his/her own perspective."

… Florent made me think a lot!


I, a true free spirit woman, Zena of open spaces, always on with anyone for friendly time, good food and laughs, how did I survive to this golden jail and its myriad of restrictions and endless frustrations!? How could I accept to supposedly help the Afghan people as I was being purposely separated from them?

A few weeks after, as I was taking off from Kabul airport, I was looking at the nervures of the city shaping differently as we were gaining altitude. This vision of the ground gradually becoming a map made me realize how my own vision had changed during these past three years in Kabul and how each moment of my mission had been so important, even during the most discouraging moments when I was working for the American firm and had this feeling of being cut from the Afghan people...


… Florent was right, I had to make this book!

In the book, I have gathered a series of 50 stories that expose the difficulty for us foreigners to help the development of this country without having a frank and direct confrontation with the local people. I try my best to convey that despite the enormous loss of courage sometimes, hope has never abandoned me and humor has greatly helped me to survive the confined and oppressive environment. These three years have definitely been a challenge between the constant insecurity, the complicated Afghan history and culture, the tricky living and working conditions, and this story with this soldier.

Some of the stories' titles
... The women of Bagram ... The boy who has lost his smile ... Kabul surreal ... The Russian Master Plan ... The explosion ... Escape your jail and go ride your horse! ... Playing "tush" ... At Tora Bora theater! ... "Standards" singing ... You, proud mujahidin! ... Space and Accuracy ...

I am looking for editors and translators to publish it in the French and English speaking countries, and eventually in other languages and countries if possible.
More than that, I am looking for editors to publish an audio-book as the stories would have much more strength if I was telling them myself!!

Thank you to my friend Barry Druschel who has accepted to give some of his time and support this project!


About my work
As a licensed land surveyor and specialist of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), I had no choice but focusing on projects dealing with land tenure security and land management. Approaching the issues of land rights anywhere around this planet has always been very sensitive; people don't only need to live somewhere but they actually have the right to settle down on a piece of land and live. In the western countries, land occupation has been regulated for many centuries and has been adjusted along the years, but in a post-conflict situation like in Afghanistan, the land regulation system in place is not adapted anymore to the sudden population changes creating many issues regarding legal land rights, occupation, and development; how to establish an appropriate system?

With Sediqa at Jangalak, a former foundry in Kabul.