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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The Taliban mullah loves him his iPhone
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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Taliban mullah loves him his iPhone


Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef, a former Taliban
ambassador to Pakistan,looks at his iPhone
during an interview.

everywhere i go in the world, people are talking on their cell phones, but nowhere is the contrast between that piece of high-tech equipment and the user more striking than in afghanistan... this story about the mullah and his iphone accurately portrays a phenomenon visible everywhere i go in kabul... from little kids to goat herders to shopkeepers to burka-covered women, EVERYBODY is chatting and texting up a storm...
Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaeef is a former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. He spent almost four years in Guantanamo. He wears a black turban, has a thick beard — and is never without his Apple iPhone.

The ultra-conservative Taliban banned modern technology like the Internet and TV during its harsh 1996-2001 rule, but those items have boomed in Afghanistan since the regime's 2001 ouster, helping to bring the country into the 21st century.

Zaeef, who reconciled with the Afghan government after being released from U.S. custody, says he uses his iPhone to surf the Internet and find difficult locations, employing the built-in GPS. He even checks his bank account balance online.

"It's easy and modern and I love it," Zaeef said as he pinched and pulled his fingers across the iPhone's touch screen last week. "This is necessary in the world today. People want to progress."

an afghan friend and colleague whose mother is also a friend and colleague got an iphone from his mom after her visit to the u.s. late last year... i've teased him unmercifully about having to have the latest toys (like i don't have the same predilection)...

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