Saturday marked the first day of the Persian New Year, known locally as "Nowruz." Under the Taliban regime, the traditional celebrations (which included such sinful acts as singing, dancing, and *gasp* kite running) were banned as being against the Quran. It's hard to imagine a civilization that would ban a New Year's celebration, but then again I come from the land of MTV Spring Break and Girls Gone Wild.
Now that we're here the locals get to party like it's 1388. That's the current year according to their calendar anyway. It puts this society only 621 years behind the rest of the world, so it's probably about right.
Predictably, the Taliban had a blast:
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All the while I've been here I've been trying to come up with any way that I can think of to make life better for the people here.
I'm still at a loss.