Some More Pics from Istanbul and Kabul

I’m just throwing up some pics, in no particular order (except that indicated by the list below):

+Meeting with the Board of the 3H (Rule of Law, Toleration, Liberty) Movement in Istanbul
+Shi’a Gateway in Kabul (where you can get tea and hear religious sermons on the loudspeaker about the martyrdom of the Imam Hossein)
+Another Shi’a Gateway (snapped from a car)
+A Common Means of Transporting Goods in a Poor Country
+A Kabul Spice Stall (snapped when I was shopping for luggage — to carry the carpets I bought — and for Afghan clothes)
+Negotiating for Carpet Prices (the tall gentleman is an Afghan classical liberal merchant who was immensely helpful to me in my trip, including helping me negotiate during my short tripping trip; it helped that, in addition to fighting the Soviet during the occupation, he was a carpet merchant in Pakistan)
+Selecting Carpets
+Displaying the Quality of a Carpet (they change color, depending on in which direction you lay them)
+After the Deal (my friend, the carpet merchant, and the merchant’s son)
+Some of the Visible Damage from Decades of War (notably when the Mujaheddin factions fought over Kabul)
+Not All Neighborboods Look Like This (and some are showing signs of new life and reconstruction), but Many Do
+A Quick Snap While Walking Briskly in the Bazaar
+Closing Time in the Market (5 pm)

3H Board Istanbul
Shi'a Gateway
Street Scene with Boy and Shi'a gateway
Human locomotive power
A Spice Market at Closing
Negotiating for a Carpet
Carpet Displays
Carpet displays 2
Carpet Displays 3
War 3
War 2
A quick market snap
Closing Time

The trip to Afghanistan was very fruitful and we should see more libertarian activity there soon. I also found the trip to Jalalabad quite interesting; people forget that Afghanistan is a big country full of millions of people who are all pursuing their own projects, going to work, buying and selling in the market, falling in love, having children, going to school, planning their futures, trying to get through life like people everywhere. There is, to be sure, awful conflict in various parts of the country (and you certainly see in Kabul and elsewhere what 30 years of war will do to a country — the poverty, the ruined buildings, the warnings about landmines, the limbless people on the streets, the street boys darting through traffic to rub filthy rags across car windows in hopes of a coin), but there is much more to Afghanistan than conflict. People live there, and we need to be reminded of that. I look forward to my next visit. Moreover, I look forward to a lot more promotion of respect for individual liberty, toleration, and the rule of law, and the prosperity that follow in their wake.

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2 Responses to “Some More Pics from Istanbul and Kabul”

  1. Dear Mr. Palmer,

    I have been a fan of yours since my time working in the US Senate back in 2000, when I had the privelage of sitting in on an excellent presentation you made to staffers. Since then I have moved on to work in the humanitarian world.

    I enjoyed reading your comments, “People live there, and we need to be reminded of that.” How correct you are. A friend of mine who worked for the IRIN news organization in 2006 and 2007 truly brought this home to me at a time when the ONLY photos coming out of Iraq were of car bombs, when nearly all journalists were planted with the military. How foreign to the world of ordinary civilians who must live out their lives away from the headlines.

    I believe that the libertarian and humanitarian worlds have much in common. Judge Napolitano, far more pop than yourself, still was able to bring this home to me in a recent column where he contrasted rights, which emanate from our humanity, with goods, which are things that can be bought and sold. These roots in natural law are profound, and connect to the minimalist approach of MSF, ICRC and other humanitarian organizations that truly understand the importance of neutrality, impartiality and humanity in working with people.

    My best,


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