About a boy
“Let me tell you a story of a little boy. I was in Afghanistan in 2003. I met a 7 or 8 year old boy very well dressed, in nice tidy jeans. And he called me ‘Mister American’. He spoke to me English. It was Iid, and you know that during Iid you give gifts. I had a 20 dollar bill with me and I gave it to him. And he said: “Nonono Mister American”.
I said: “Why? It is Iid, it is a tradition to give a gift. I want to give this to you.”
And he said: “I will accept this but you have to come with me.”
I took him in my car and he toured me all over Kabul. He said this place was destroyed by such a warlord and this one by such a warlord, and he was very knowledgeable. I was listening to him. At the end of the tour I said: “Ok, now you can take the money.” He said: “No, I want you to buy me something.” I thought he wanted a toy or something. Finally he took me to a bookstore, and he actually took out a dictionary, it was Darian and English. And that is what he wished. I bought him a better one and I gave it to him. I asked him, why a dictionary? Why not a toy? and he said, “Do you know what? I want to be just like you when I grow up. And I want to be president of Afghanistan.” I really hugged him and kissed him. That was the beautiful Afghan way of thinking of a 7 or 8 year old. He wants to be educated and one day a president of Afghanistan. That really encouraged me, gave me a lot of energy. I said I am going to keep the memory of this boy!
So these are the stories that make your life completely different. Yes I miss my own family, but I help a lot of other ones.”
Omar S. Sultan, Deputy Minister of Culture Afghanistan