Lion: Christine Aziz Describes How the Fate of a Once-Noble Beast Has Come to Resemble That of the People of Kabul, Afghanistan, on the Eve of the Takeover by Taleban Fundamentalists

By Aziz, Christine | New Internationalist, November 1996 | Go to article overview

Lion: Christine Aziz Describes How the Fate of a Once-Noble Beast Has Come to Resemble That of the People of Kabul, Afghanistan, on the Eve of the Takeover by Taleban Fundamentalists


Aziz, Christine, New Internationalist


SOMEHOW a sightseeing tour of Kabul seems an obscenity. Amir Shah, our taxi driver, is insisting on taking us on what he calls the 'scenic route'. Everything is referred to in the past tense: 'This was our university', 'This was the Palace', 'This was one of our finest hotels'. There is a retrospective pride in Shah's voice which has to be responded to. 'It must have been lovely,' I mumble.

I'll take you to the zoo,' Amir Shah says in an attempt to cheer us up. We pull up outside what must have been a pleasant garden, except all that's left now are twisted stumps of trees, their branches torn off by Kabul's residents for firewood. Cages line the walkways, but the bars are twisted steel and the walls nothing more than rubble. 'Most of the animals and birds have been stolen and cooked,' Amir Shah explains. 'But we do have a lion,' he says in an effort to make the visit worthwhile. 'I don't remember his name anymore. I just call him "Lion".'

Lion lies in the only cage that remains intact, his head resting sulkily on his huge front paws. His eyes are missing, and his face is heavily scarred. His mane of hair has been reduced to a few tufts. We stare at the sightless, bald lion who is now making a half - hearted attempt to stand up, and as he shuffles forward Amir Shah tells us Lion's story.

Some mujahideen came to visit the zoo and they saw Lion. They goaded one of their friends into climbing into the cage, and dared him to touch Lion. Lion was sleeping, so he got out unhurt. Then the mujahideen dared him to go in again, but this time he touched a female and Lion attacked him. The mujahideen's brother threw in a hand grenade which blew up Lion's face, but it was too late. Lion killed him.'

It was hard to believe that the mangy specimen now growling weakly in front of us could have managed such aggression. 'Lion was taken to the Red Cross hospital,' Amir Shah said. 'He was in the best hospital in Kabul, and the doctors tried to save his sight. But they couldn't. He was too badly injured. They did the best they could.'

The people of Kabul clearly want Lion to live. It's as if this proud animal has become a symbol for the city itself and the grisly drama a metaphor for the senseless battles that have been played out in the city's streets. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Lion: Christine Aziz Describes How the Fate of a Once-Noble Beast Has Come to Resemble That of the People of Kabul, Afghanistan, on the Eve of the Takeover by Taleban Fundamentalists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.