Building roads is a love story | Mission East

Building roads is a love story

Digging a road in Afghanistan
Road building team in afghanistan

Building roads in Afghanistan, making life easier for thousands of villagers, is more than the daily hard labour, dust, and dirty rocks. It is a love story like the one about the Afghan hero Farhad and Princess Shireen.

By Engineer Kaiwan, Afghanistan By Engineer Kaiwan, Afghanistan

The story of the hero Farhad digging rocky mountains is famous in Afghan literature and history, especially in poems of Khesrow and Shireen by Nezamy (1161-1223), a famous poet of the 12th century.

In the story Farhad loves Shireen, but she will only accept him if he moves a rocky mountain out of the way of a spring bringing drinking water to her palace.

In our days the rocky mountains are not just in the way of a spring but of a whole village who is excluded from the rest of society.

Mission East workers are like Farshad
The rocks shown on the pictures are from the Mandara Valley in Chaal District, Takhar Province of Afghanistan. They have been an obstacle in the way of 1,850 families living in the Mandara Valley from the beginning of our planet Earth to this moment.

These people have been suffering from non-access to markets and other essential places. Here are many stories of problems too numerous to mention. Just as an example: a sick woman while being transported to hospital on a donkey slid off a rock down to the river and her body was found several villages away downstream the next day.

Like the people working with Mission East on the road project, Farhad from the ancient Afghan story is busy digging. In the meantime, Princess Shireen searches village to village for a well known prince whom she really loves.

Another love
Farhad was an engineer from the lowest classes and had nothing to offer except his skill. Still, he loved Shireen and continued. Farhad’s goal in digging the rocky mountain was to reach Shireen and to succeed in his love, while Shireen wanted the water to reach to her palace. When Farhad was near to completing the job someone informed him that Shireen had married the prince. Then the only thing Farhad could do - and did - was to hit himself on the head with his own adze (pickaxe) and he died.

Here our goal is not to analyse why Shireen used Farhad for her benefit while she herself loved another (Parweez) and finally married him. We are speaking of another love.

In the pictures you can see labourers carefully hitting adzes to granite rocks for the reconstruction of their country and to feed their children. This is a real love, love for children and the reconstruction of their villages.
Mission East, financed by DANIDA, started a road extension project in April 2006 that is ongoing now. By this help and people’s efforts and hard work, we are blasting and cutting rocks even with pickaxes to extend a road through this rough passage like those on the photos above. Mission East staff members and each site worker are working with transparency and clearness, with love for the people and their country.
January 2007