Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sultan's Angels

This photo always makes me laugh. It's me, Nikki, and Didja in Darra, Pakistan, in 1998. We were on an 8-week Dragoman trip from Kathmandu to Damascus, and we visited a town where the primary business was making knock-off guns. The guy behind us is Sultan.

We giggled a lot as we adopted a Charlie's Angels pose with these weapons of medium-level destruction. The locals laughed at us too.

I just scanned in another photo to show the reality of the situation--all our cameras and tourist junk are just off to the side.


Anonymous said...

way to get these through customs.

scarfalonius said...

The photos might be funny in another time. I know you don't identify with the rampant militarism in your country, but these days Americans with guns are no joke.

"Glance at any television screen — they are everywhere — and chances are that the screen will be showing mayhem in Lebanon, Baghdad or Gaza. It usually takes a minute or so to decipher which Arab city is burning. Popular satellite news channels like Al Jazeera say repeatedly that the carnage arrives via American policy and American weapons."

- NYT Aug 8 06

The irony in your pictures, of course, is that those guns were probably manufactured for the Taliban.

Marie Javins said...

Well, for the record, there's only one American in that photo. There's a Brit and a Kiwi and me.

Anonymous said...

I've heard of that town! I lived in Pakistan for a year and a half a good while ago, and one of my classmates (American, with avid love of guns and hunting) had visited Peshawar with his family and also when to this town in the area where they made guns. Like AK47s and all that kind of stuff that I really don't know a thing about.

And they looked at them, and got to test them out on the hillside, and of course they had to tell the story when they got back.

That was in, um, 2000?

Yeah, the guns probably mostly end up being used by the Taliban and tribal leaders.

Marie Javins said...

Darra. That's it. I couldn't remember for a while and was too lazy to go look it up on IGoUGo.com, where I wrote a story about it in... 2000? But the name of the town was Darra, and getting there involved being smuggled in via the back of a covered truck.