Simultaneity* and juxtaposition

Nasim at Afghan Lord has a post up about his visit to Parwez Kambakhsh in prison. Here’s part of it:

The salon is terribly noisy, you can’t hear even your own voice. Visitors are shouting to the prisoners and prisoners shout to visitors. The guy who called the prisoners is called “Jarchi” (Farsi). It was the second time I asked him to call Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, and then immediately he appeared. I waved to him and went a step closer behind the bars but the reticulated wall of metals didn’t allow me to touch his fingers.

He seemed disappointed and desperately waved at me. Only for a few seconds I got closer to him, closer to hear him, which was difficult because of the noise. Suddenly my left shoulder was pulled back roughly and I saw two policemen who asked me what I was telling to Kambakhsh.

It’s startling to reflect on: a university student is sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2007, then his sentence is commuted to twenty years imprisonment a year later. The imprisoned student’s devastated friends post photos of him on facebook advocacy groups, and one of his countrymen visits him in prison and blogs about it. After reading Nasim’s post, I thought about the extraordinary juxtaposition here –social utilities that epitomize modernity and the age of instant, borderless communication being used to rally support for a victim of medieval politics.

Photo of Parwez Kambakhsh (left) and friend. Taken from facebook group "Save freedom of speech in Afghanistan."

Photo of Parwez Kambakhsh (left) and friend. From facebook group "Save freedom of speech in Afghanistan."

*Simultaneity: the property of two or more events happening at the same time.

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