Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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Location: Edge City, Titan

03 September 2007

Refugees Resettled in Afghanistan

Turkmen and other native Afghani refugees whose ancestral lands were claimed by others after they spent almost thirty years in Pakistan's Jalozai camp have returned to Afghanistan nonetheless to new settlements.

This is a "shura", a gathering like a traditional village council. But this shura is new: men who years ago fled to Pakistan from different villages in this region, now brought together in this settlement for returned refugees.

Khodai Berdy is one of the refugees who fled when the USSR overthrew the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

Father-of-three Khodai Berdy showed me around the house he and his family took six months to build.

Like the others here, they came back to Afghanistan three or four years ago. They couldn't return to their home village, not far away, because someone else had taken his land.

But Khodai's situation has now eased. His was one of the families that received UNHCR help, and they built it with their own hands.

"At first when we came here, at least three people in this place got ill because of the heat, and died," he says. "Now we've built this house. It's very good. It's resistant to water and the rays of the sun. We feel very good now - the only problem is water."

Khodai is relieved not to be living in a tent any more, or having to stay with relatives.

One of his two main rooms is devoted to carpet-making - a trade he pursues alongside keeping a small shop.

It's instructive to see long-standing Muslim refugee problems that the refugees are not unwilling to resolve.



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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16