Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kabul Steals the Show in Kathmandu

Dr Rabin Man Shakya

Unlike Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives, Afghanistan is always making headlines in the US newspapers. Given the large US troops presence and its strategic interest in Kabul, this comes as no wonder.

More often than not, Afghan coverage in American newspapers is related to the war against terror, ongoing political development and corruption that is rampant in the Afghan society.

Nevertheless, soft news features on issues of Afghan women, education, health, sanitation etc. are also published very often in the US newspapers.

Afghanistan's national football team recently made an outstanding victory at an international football championship organised in Kathmandu.

No wonder, the winning Afghan national team returned home in triumph and the event was widely reported in the US newspapers.The bottom line of the coverage of the US newspapers about the Afghan victory in Nepal was: Kabul stole the show in Kathmandu.

Under the headline "Raucous scene grips Afghan capital: Soccer Euphoria", the New York Times reported from Kabul on September 13, "The Olympic Stadium in Kabul has not seen this big a crowd since the Taliban used the place for public executions, with attendance mandatory."

"No coercion was needed on Thursday to bring tens of thousands of delirious fans here to greet their national soccer team on its championship. The underdog team stunned India, the defending South Asian champions, in 2-0 victory in Kathmandu, Nepal," went on the New York Times.

According to the US media, many of the Afghan celebrators were quick to note that for once they had something to be proud of that had nothing to do with war.

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