Any country that is different from ours or the one we are used to living in seems a bit unknown and mysterious.  We know little facts here and there about other countries, usually brought to light by situations, issues or occurrences that may have taken place involving that country.  What we don’t know about other countries necessarily is the little things that make it unique and that are enjoyed by those that live within it’s boundaries.

Take the country of Afghanistan for example, we know a little about this country from what we have seen in the news, and from the negative that has come from this country.  We don’t know however about the things that make this country home to those born and raised there.  I have complied six interesting facts about this desert oasis.

  • Poetry is a big part of the Afghan culture.  Dating back 1,000 years they have told their stories through poetry.  In the western cities of Afghanistan, like that of Herat, Thursdays are considered poetry nights.  Men, Women and children come together to share ancient and modern poetry, eat pastries and drink sweet tea throughout the night .
  • Opium is the largest and fastest growing produce in all the country.  In fact 80-90% of the heroin found in Europe comes from the Opium that is grown in Afghanistan.
  • The National sport of Afghanistan is known as Buzkashi, or goat throwing.  Deemed the wildest game in the world because of its crazy dynamic, players ride on horseback and compete against one another to catch a goat’s body, ride ahead of the others and drop the goat in a marked circle to find victory.
  • Women and Men will never shake hands or speak directly to one another especially in public places.  Women are also not allowed to wear skirts or sleeveless tops of any kind.
  • Afghanistan is full of natural resources such as Uranium coal, talc, sulphur lead and salt to name a few.  Also in the Northeast you can find semi-precious and precious stones.  In the North you can find Petroleum and natural gas resources.  In the Southeast Silver, Zinc, Copper and Iron ore can be found.
  • Kandahar was the very first capital city of Afghanistan.  It later was replaced by Kabul which is now currently the Capital.

It is always interesting to learn new facts about foreign places and un-explored soil.  Even if you never make it to a particular country, it is always good to educate ourselves on some of the basic cultural values and beliefs that different countries practice. With today’s ever growing diversity in society it is better to embrace the differences that we may share rather than focus on the them and letting them divide us!

26 Apr 2017


As I’ve mentioned before, the city of Kabul has suffered an immense amount of damage over the years, especially from the recent civil war. Many parts of the city are in rubble and severely damaged, and many peoples homes lost. Yet many people still occupy these destroyed buildings, even though it would be unfit to live according to many parts of the world. That’s just how it currently is in Kabul, and how it seems it will be for the foreseeable future. Many contractors have come to Kabul from the United States, and the United Kingdom, offering bids on renovation projects for the city, hoping to offer some assistance. Theses bids have been enormous however, since the infrastructure itself is destroyed in many parts of the city, including damaged electricity and plumbing. These factors make the scope of the projects very extensive, time consuming, and extremely expensive. A contractor out of Phoenix Arizona (, that helped put one of the renovation bids together said a big reason for the cost is due to the level of mold that is present in the buildings. Fractured piping throughout the city has resulted in extreme water damage that has compromised the integrity of many of the buildings. For this reason, many of the building will have to be completely renovated, and in many cases, entirely replaced. “When the foundation of a structure is affected badly with mold then its never a cheap fix”, said one of the project coordinators. (more…)

20 Sep 2016

Light in the Darkness

Kabul has a long history, certainly longer than most. It’s geographic location has made it a favorable location for traders, emperors, and travelers, being that its along popular asian trade routes. As of 2015 the city has an estimated population of over 3.5 million, making it the 64th largest city in the world. All though it is favorably located, it also a host to a myriad of internal struggles. It’s rich history of over 3,500 years, and the recent removal of the Taliban has created a lot of restlessness and uncertainty. Changing the order of how things are can be difficult for everybody, especially the ones who have fallen from power. The Taliban’s fall from power and the late civil war from 1992 – 1996 has damaged the psyche of the city as well as the actual infrastructure of the city. The city is still damaged and in ruins in certain areas from the internal strife that has plagued the country.

The city that lay in rubble in areas of Kabul is evidence of the internal conflict and the horrendous past, and is why many seek to change the appearance of the city (city of light). However, giving the city a face lift does not remove the unrest that created the damage in the first place. Their is a lot of healing that needs to take place in Kabul, and in Afghanistan in general if the city is to regain the it glow it once had.

The city is host to very violent ideologies, that are rooted in fear and hate, and masked as spirituality. Belief is unfortunately one of the hardest things to change because it is not rooted in anything tangible. The only thing that is tangible that can allow us to communicate with our brothers and sisters who have reverted to violence, is focusing on feelings. Focusing on drowning out the negative feelings that captivate them with positive feelings. Spread positive feelings to all people, to show them what is true and right in the world. There is no denying that good feelings feel better than bad feelings. If they feel these good feelings in the darkness of their bad feelings then maybe they will return to helping their common man, and not hurting them.

16 Sep 2016

This is what goes on on

Kabul, Afghanistan

A place of beauty, yet death and fear. The state in which Afghanistan is in is both sad and scary. Recently, on Monday September 5, 2016, a suicide bombing in a residential area in Kabul, near the Afghan Defense Ministry, leaves 24 dead and over 90 wounded.

The Taliban recently claimed that there group carried out the harmful attack. They have been trying to remove or overthrow the government that is backed by the United States for more than a decade. They often target security forces in Afghanistan and injure or kill others in the process of their point.

The attack happened late Monday night. A car bomb explosion happened in a the residential neighborhood near the Ministry, immediately fired by gunfire. The gunfire continued on for some time. Again many were killed, and even more wounded.

The acts of violence make it hard to focus on anything else. When improvement and positive change is needed and the march forward to create this beneficial impact is faced with continuous acts of violence, it breaks down not only the community but those trying to engage in the change. How do you overcome these road blocks, these unnecessary obstacles? How do you begin to implement change to benefit the greater good?

Maybe we need to rethink it from the ‘war on violence’ to the ‘subject of change’. How to influence this change is what becomes the challenge, not how to war the violence. The war is what we seek to end. Met with war, nothing changes.

What are the deeper roots of where the violence comes from. Maybe this should be explored more, but not by reading the news anf engaging in the media that is fed to us. It must be deeply rooted and in a way we obviously do not understand. An understanding and a solution must be found.



08 Sep 2016

City of Light – Kabul


Kabul over the years due to occupation and civil unrest has fallen to rubble in many parts of the city, and much of the cities structures are used for makeshift shelter. Many of us would love to see the great city of Kabul revived and brought back to shine brighter than it ever has with the City of Light development plans. The urban reconstruction plan for Kabul known as City of Light is development project that will revitalized the city of Kabul and rejuvenate commerce and the cities way of living. The plan originally proposed by Hisham N. Ashkouri is a design project that will cover roughly a  3.5km long and 1.75km wide area in the heart of Kabul. When completed the design will embody the art and culture of the city, with colors and patterns similar to the popular rugs and artwork that the city so heavily cherishes. Many contractors have been consulted, and have voiced their opinion on the project, including California businessman Joe Shier. Joe who owns a solar company in Santa Ana California, was said to have consulted on the project regarding proposed solar power, and solar screens for the project. I reached out to Joe at his business and asked more about his thoughts. Joe said the project was intended to resemble past successful development projects using an Arid Region Design Technique relying primarily on concrete for high rises, which will all be fitted with solar screens. Joe said the project was large, and would dramtically change the look and feel of the city. “It would be a beautiful integration of public space, commerce, living, and culture” said Joe about the proposed design. However yesterdays attacks in Kabul, and the overall unrest in the country did make Joe and others skeptical of the project and nervous of its long term success. Like we have discussed here, financing for projects such as this are contingent on high success probabilities and low risk. Lenders will be reluctant to support such an endeavor if they do not see the possibility of a return, and especially if they question if they will even get their original investment back if the city falls into unrest and terrorist attacks. The hopes and dreams of an entire city will most likely go unrealized because of the dogmatic actions of a few extremists. “Nobody wants to invest in a city that might just get blown up.” said John in our last conversation.  (more…)

24 Jul 2016

Kabul Afghanistan Terrorists Attack 7/23

Today Saturday July 23rd, over 80 people were killed in an attack by the Islamic State on a group of protestors who were protesting a multi million dollar power line that was routed to go through Bamian, a province dominated by Hazara in central Afghanistan. Over 230 people were additionally wounded in this attack which has been reported to have been done by three people wearing explosive belts. This incidence has been the most deadly attack since the 2001 extraction of the Taliban led by U.S. forces and said to have been committed with the intent of spawning a civil war. Of the three terrorists involved in the attack, only one explosive belt went off. The other belt failed to detonate, and the third culprit was shot and killed by security. Thankfully only one explosion occurred, but it still amounted to cause a significant amount of harm.

Acts like this have been waged between the divided ethnicities of Afghanistan, the Shiite and the Sunni before, however this was one of most deadly in history. Bamian which is dominated by Hazara’s are predominately Shiite, and most of the Afghanistan is Sunni, so this act of terror was economical for the impoverished Hazara (who want the power lines), but it was also rooted in an age old ethnic divide.


23 Jul 2016

Security and the Economy

Afghanistan’s economic growth has been stale, because from the outside, Afghanistan still appears to be very risky. Many uncertainties politically has resulted in diminishing confidence of the private sector, and lessened activity. This has lead to marginal growth over the past couple years and economic turbulence for much of Afghanistan. Kabul being one of the fastest growing cities in the world has felt the brunt of these lessened economic activities and in turn resulted in more violence and unrest. Agriculture which has been the biggest contributor to Afghanistan’s GDP historically is down from previous years and the growing population is feeling the effects of this, especially in poorer areas reliant on agriculture. Growth is expected to be slow over the next few years and much of the financial future is thought to be contingent on Afghanistan creating political and security stability which will help bolster private sector confidence.

There is much uncertainty in Kabul and throughout Afghanistan and the global political system works heavily off speculation and confidence. Despite attempts at improving local and national political situations, Afghanistan as a whole is seen as unstable and thus not suitable for the sizable capital needed to turn the economy around. Investors need to have faith in the local political system to defend and honor their investments, because without that faith, the risk is simply too large. There are many suitable markets for investors these days, and Afghanistan must do what’s in their power to be competitive globally and earn the investment of the private sector. If not, Kabul and the rest of the country will live in isolation of global investment, and simply rely on organizations like the world bank and IMF to provide loans in order to stimulate the national economy. And these loans are unsustainable if there are not accompanied with other flows of investment into the country. Afghanistan long term needs to create more opportunities for trade that are net positive for the country, which can be through an increase in agriculture, manufacturing, labor and more.

Security in general needs to improve in order for commerce to continue to rise domestically and to establish confidence with outside investors. Nobody wants to throw their money into uncertainty, and currently Afghanistan is demonstrating overall uncertainty.


22 Jul 2016

Water Management Gone Wrong

Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan, for those unaware. Kabul sits at an elevation of over 5800 feet, at the merging of three bodies of water. With Kabul’s population of about 4 million people, a very high percentage (70-80%) do not have access to clean drinking water. That is just Kabul alone. In Afghanistan, with a population of 30 million people, clean accessible water is a topic. Where it comes from and how much clean water is available, is a talked about amongst geologists, the people of the country, and those that understand the urgency.

When brought up, Afghanistan is thought of as the country of war and conflict. The war on water and the conflict of lack of it is not thought of. So what is going on and what actions is the afghan government taking to utilize whatever water resources are available?

Many of the current issues that Afghanistan face, specifically speaking of it’s water supply, are directly influenced by the wars that have continued on for decades. They have left the country harmed in many ways. Yet the wars are not the single source contributing to the water crisis.


20 Jul 2016

Kabul Afghanistan

There is a lot to enjoy about Kabul, Afghanistan. Enjoy this short video while we elaborate on our projects throughout Kabul.

19 Jun 2016