Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March 2011 Travel Photo: Harzaran School Room


The travel photo for March is unique in the sense it is not a landscape photograph.  It was taken in a multiroom school house which is nestled in the mountains of Ghazni Province.  These two Harzaran school kids were goofing off and were the center of attention for the photograph.

However, there is knowledge to be gained of Afghanistan from this photograph.  The chalk board is covered in Dari writting.  Dari (Royal Persian) is the language of the government of Afghanistan and is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan, the other being Pashtun.  Dari is an old form of Persian that was spoken by the Shahs of Iran hundreds of years ago.  But unlike Iranian Persian, also called Farsi, Dari has not evolved like Farsi has.  Harazas speak Dari and most do not bother learning Pashtun.

Also, on the right is a chart about Shia Islam.  Hazaras, unlike the every other ethnic group in Afghanistan, are majority Shia Twelver Muslims (like most Iranians).  The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GOIRA) has no separation of mosque and state.  In fact it embraces a sort of union between the two.  GOIRA does not care if a school teaches Shia or Sunni Islam as long as the school stays inside the orthodoxies of the two.

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