Monday, June 28, 2010

Afghan Model

This morning, a colleague from the logistics section wandered in to my office carrying two scrapbooks. He addressed Wakeel, who then translated as he placed one of the albums in my hands: "these are photographs of his son, in traditional Afghan clothes."

The first few were postcard-like prints, each featuring several different outfits and printed with "Maseeh Ur Rahman Popalzai," the name of our young model. Later photographs show him posed in a rose garden; petting a goat; holding a shovel over his shoulder in front of a display of summer wheat; and endless close-ups of a serious face with an even more serious handlebar mustache.

He is wearing clothes from all over Afghanistan, and as I thumb through the pages, my colleague provides narration: "Herat... Kandahar... Kabul." Wakeel explains that Maseeh Rahman competed on a television show called Afghan Model - then corrects himself - he won Afghan Model. The second scrapbook, it turns out, is a collection of congratulations. I am asked to contribute, so I pen a brief note and sign my name. After prompting me to add "USA" next to my entry, the man asks me if I have a photograph of myself. Surely enough, it appears that most of these fan messages are accompanied by passport-sized images.

We made a deal - I'll bring a photo tomorrow for the fan book, and I get copies of a couple of the postcard photos in exchange. Handlebar mustaches are far from dreamy in my book, but I can't pass up this kind of brush with fame...

1 comment:

Afreen said...

So SO much better than I ever imagined!!!!