Friday Lens Affair 210


Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan

Today I’m featuring a beautiful picture of Sakhi Shrine in Kabul taken by Alex Reynolds from the Lost With Purpose Blog but as well not so beautiful story connected to it.

I really want to visit Afghanistan myself so I’m super jelly of Alex!

Alex is a full-time backpacker, photographer, and travel writer. He has scrambled up dusty fortresses in Afghanistan, watched gods dance in South India, followed spirit dogs through the Caucasus mountains, and smoked with shamans in Pakistan.

His blog serves as a guide to help others do the same, so do follow him on Facebook and Instagram if you are interested in that part of the world.

Photo Story: Sakhi Shrine

Friends and families often gather around the turquoise walls of Kabul’s Sakhi Shrine for picnics in the sun, to give their kids space to play while they pray, to take selfies in front of the shrine’s ornate walls.

The cool marble floors are a popular hangout spot for Kabulians… but the peaceful place also has a violent past.

In October 2016, my friends and I were considering visiting this shrine but ended up being lazy and putting it off for another day. Good thing we did—the shrine was attacked by terrorists that very day. 14 people were killed, 26 others were injured.

Terrorists had attacked a crowd of Shia Muslims gathering for a special day of Ashura, a holy month of mourning.

To many people around the world, such an attack is a terrifying notion; one that would make people quiver in their seats and fear going outside.

But in Afghanistan, it is simply a part of daily life. People attack, people are killed, people cry, people, move on.

My friends and I visited the shrine a day or two after the attack… and you’d never know that something terrible had just happened.

Despite being covered with blood and gore mere hours before, the courtyard was again filled with picnicking families.

Teenage Afghani girls and boys were taking selfies in front of the twisting patterns and scripts on the walls. Sunlight filtered through the leaves of the trees.

People flowed dutifully in and out of the halls for prayer. When people ask me how Afghanistan was, what I thought of the country, it’s hard to say.

Afghanistan is stricken by war and violence… but at the same time, there are millions of people trying to live a semblance of a normal life.

I went to see the beauty of the country beyond the horrors we read about in the news, and I found it, though its warm heart was wrapped up in a blanket of sadness and loss.

Sakhi Shrine is a tangible example of how Afghanistan is equal parts beauty and suffering. It’s more than a religious monument; it’s also a testament to the strength and resilience of Kabulians and the Afghan people.

Sakhi Shrine or Ziarat-e Sakhi is a Shrine located in Karte Sakhi area of Kabul, Afghanistan.

One of the city’s largest shrines, Sakhi is revered by many Afghan communities but especially by the Shia minority.

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