Image: Kevin Sites for VICE.com.
Author, proto-warblogger and former CNN and NBC correspondent Kevin Sites, with whom I worked to create what may have been the first war blog, is back in Afghanistan reporting for VICE.
It's really strong work. One of the pieces he's sent back so far is a fascinating look at a traditional practice among many poor, rural carpet loomers: feeding hashish to their young children. Think of the drug as a kind of babysitter, for impoverished women who are forced to labor at hard work for impossibly long hours in harsh conditions. Snip:
Like most women in Afghanistan’s Qalizal District, Bebehaja’s life is told on the strings of a carpet loom. It’s a vocational inheritance of women of Turkmen heritage, who begin as early as seven and may not stop until they’re 70. It’s as linear and taut as the cords on which they weave, unspooling balls of yarn over minutes, hours, days, decades creating masterful motifs, while simultaneously emptying themselves of the same beauty and comfort they put into the things that they create.
Read the full report here
Bebehaja is 60 now. She’s covered in a stained, blue burqua so I can’t see her face, but I hear the weariness in her voice. She tells me the dirty secret that everyone knows: the most important material in carpet making in Qalizal is not wool, but hashish.
“When we don’t eat the hashish we’re like a dead body,” she says. “When we eat it we can work hard and work more.”
. You can read more of Kevin's dispatches from Afghanistan here
. You can also follow Kevin on Twitter
Previously: Kevin Sites returns to Afghanistan. Here's the reporting gear he's packing.
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]
The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]