Running in Afghanistan

August 02, 2013
natalie rightonNatalie Brighton is a Dutch journalist/correspondent. She lived a 1000 days in Afghanistan, while writing for the Dutch news paper De Volkskrant.

Most journalists travel 'embedded' in Afghanistan, which means within army protection. But Natalie lived among the local people of Afghanistan She visited hairdressers, tea houses and local markets, to hear the word on de street.

You can't just run in Afghanistan

But after 1000 days of constanty looking over her shoulder, and being vigilant 24/7 her body was filled with tension. So she asked an expert for advice. He told her to take up running to release the built up stress. Sound advice, but not so easy to follow if you're living in Afghanistan!

The problem with running in Afghanistan

In her book Natalie sums up the problem with running in Afghanistan very neatly:

'There's no way I can go for a run outside. Anyone who is running in this country is either a terrorist or trying to get to safety.'

So Natalie used the treadmill in her hotel to do some running. But even then a handyman and a cleaner bother her. She has to talk to the hotel manager to get them to leave her alone.

Reading Natalie Righton's book made me realize how lucky we are for living in a free country. I think of running as freedom, but I've learned that freedom is dependent on living in a free country.

1 comment:

  1. My parents lived in Afghanistan over 45 years ago. It was a beautiful country to them and they are very saddened by what has happened since then. It is where my name came from, so I have a special place for it in my heart as well. :)

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