Archive for December, 2006

Bagram Bazaar

December 21, 2006

Bagram Air Base is a former Soviet airbase about 50 km north of Kabul. It is home to US and other Allied Military personnel and civilians and has also been used as the major prison facility for people detained by the US Military.

This site features the following photos and description:

The weekly bazaar at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Local Afghan merchants gather just outside the base to sell everything from clothes to trinkets to guns to the large multinational military population stationed there. The bazaar, which brings a touch of Afghan culture to the military members, also brings a significant amount of money to the local economy.

Rug at Bagram Base Market

US soldier carrying rug

Compliments of the Season

December 18, 2006


From the Tatiana Divens archive, given to her, circa 1994, by Lee Cold***, at that time desk officer for Pakistan, Afganistan, and Bangladesh (one level below ambassador,), Department of State, located for the most part in Washington DC. It was found by Cold*** in Peshawar, where it was printed by UNICEF, where he spent some time coordinating efforts after a 7-10 days trip to Kabul and Herat. A worthy aspiration for this festive season: the Farsi text reads: “Education is compulsory for all Muslim men and women (says the Prophet Mohammad)”, and the text on the blackboard reads: “Before eating wash your hands with water and soap”. A salutary message for the excesses of the festive season?

Sometimes it’s easy

December 17, 2006

So many of the motifs we see in rugs are heavily abstracted, and there is an unavoidable element of speculation in trying to identify things clearly (see our recent posts on helicopters, for example).

But sometimes, as with this rug recently traded on eBay, you know exactly what you’re looking at:

Gate Rug

Gate Photo

The (uncaptioned) photograph is from Afghanistan Today, compiled by Dr Khaidar Mas’ud and Andrei Sakharov with text by Makhmud Bar’yalai and Genrikh Polyakov and translation by Natalia Shevyrina. (Moscow: Planeta Publishers & Kabul: Baikhaqi Publishers, 1983).

More on Helicopters…

December 12, 2006

New images have been added to the post Modernising traditional motifs…, including this one, from the book Russia‚Äôs War in Afghanistan, by Isby D. and Volstand R., 1986:

Afghan Landscape with Hip

And some information on the Mi-8 Hip from the article Soviet Air Power: Tactics and Weapons Used in Afghanistan:

Whilst the Hind is the primary attack helicopter being used un Afghanistan, the Soviets have also made extensive use of the big multi-purpose Mi-8 Hip in several different capacities, [such as] to serve as the main troop carriers… The Hip has also been used for aerial mine-laying … [and] as a heavily armed attack helicopter to comlement the Hind. …

Has anyone found any other realistic helicopter images on war rugs which look like the Hip or the Hind? The Halo now seems less likely, as it apparently was deployed in Afghanistan later in the conflict, possibly after this rug was made…