INGULFED

In Shanghai

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Cool off the Press: Breakfast with the Taliban

For the original, from the Daily Outlook Afghanistan in Kabul: click here.

One Saturday in June, traffic was light on the road from Kabul to the town of Bamyan, nestled deep in a high valley lined with sandstone cliffs 240 kilometers to the northwest. But for all the paving efforts that have made it among the smoothest in the country, this route from the Afghan capital through the 10,000-foot-high Shibar pass is less than perfect. One week earlier, head of Bamiyan’s provincial council Jawad Zahak had been targeted and dragged from his convoy by the Taliban. Four days ago, they told me in the car, he was beheaded. Hussein pointed: “Right… wait — there.”

I had found a tour company online and guessed an email address from a mush of pixels. Success came in the confirmation of a car that would deliver me from outside the dead-bolted orange gates of my hotel in Kabul to their lodge in Bamiyan. At six a.m., I was late. The hubcap-less white sedan drew a stark contrast to the polished and armored SUVs that take westerners to get mango milkshakes. And there were four men inside. Open the mind’s floodgates: this seems infinitely more kidnappy.
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Helipad — مهبط مروحية

From the Helipad above the 47th floor
Medinat Zayed / Khalidiya Neighborhoods
Abu Dhabi, UAE

The First iPhone Ever Made – في التأريخ iPhone اول

According to this undoctored photo, this phone is bordering on its 43d year. Having been running for three-hundred and seventy-six thousand four-hundred and ninety-one hours (and still ticking), it must certainly be the oldest iPhone in the world.

It would have been made in 1968, a leap year that started on a Monday.

الشيخ في التزلج على الرمال — Sandboarding Sheikh

Click to enlarge

(it’s me.)

On the dunes. In a dishdash.
Somewhere, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

A man waiting outside the art galleries
Dubai International Financial Center
Dubai, UAE

Shadow Play — لعب الظل

People moving or not moving
Spots along the Corniche
Abu Dhabi, UAE

Black and White — أسود أبيض

Click to enlarge:

The Abu Dhabi skyline at night
(Canine vision)
Abu Dhabi, UAE

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