'I love Afghanistan. Who cares about the dysentery and the loneliness? For I knew that Afghanistan was the toughest assignment on record. Here was the post which sooner or later tested a man and for me the preliminaries were over. I was about to plunge into one of the world's great cauldrons' James A Mitchener: Caravans
People get romantic about Afghanistan and see enormous significance in its untamable wildness. Maybe none more so than Mohammad Iqbal (1876-1938) Pakistan's Poet laureate:
Asia is a living body, and Afghanistan is its heart.
In the ruin of the heart lies the ruin of the body;
So long as the heart is free, the body remains free;
If not it becomes a straw adrift in the wind.
A reminder to us all to be free of heart, free spirits ...like the young woman in James Mitchener's 'Caravans' in spite of the trouble it may get us into.