there have been scattered reports on ABC World News from time to time about life in Baghdad becoming more and more normal and the middle class becoming a moving force in the recreation of the country. they are overshadowed by the persistent extremist organizations and movements.
we are also repeatedly told about how backward Afghanistan has become as a result of the Taliban and reactionary Islamic movements that seek to destroy all things Western and amoral.
when i saw the photos below on ParisianBoys par Seb & Fred today, i was not just taken aback; i would have to say i was a bit shocked. it was one of the last things i would have expected to see.
the photo on the right is the winner of Mr. Afghanistan 2009. look at the banner behind the photo on the left. it clearly says it is June 2009. as a matter of fact, the competition was held on June 2nd.
while we are told about the strict requirements of women covering up with burquas and veils, we might expect that something like a bodybuilding competition would be greatly frowned upon by the Taliban, et al. i should imagine this is completely beyond acceptable to the religious sense of the extremists.
yet, as i said in the title of this post - life finds a way.