High-tech is slowly returning to Afghanistan, after the Taliban put a five-year kibosh on the Internet and TV that only ended after their ouster in 2001.
Mullah Abdul Salaam Zaee, a a former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan — and four-year involuntary guest of the US of A at Guantanamo — not only made nice with his Afghan peers, he's now happily addicted to his iPhone. Saying "It's easy and modern and I love it," Zaee enjoys surfing the Web, getting GPS directions, even checking his bank balance online.
He's not the only one. Since the Taliban's fall, Afghanistan's young people are using their new access to technology to get a better and more balanced view of the outside world.
That's not to say that everyone and his mother are becoming iPhone adapters. The handsets go for around US$800 — a US$300 price drop — but when you realize that the average YEARLY income is US$800, Afghani iPhones are still the province of the very wealthy.
Interestingly, Zaee claims he never shared his fellow Talibaner's Luddite view of modern gadgetry — although, ironically, they're not above shooting their attacks in high-quality video to post on the Intertubes.
[Via the Associated Press]