• Dog fighting in Afghanistan.

    by Lorenzo Tugnoli

    Despite the horrors of three decades of war, Afghans still find room to fight for fun. Dog fighting was banned under the Taliban but recently regained its earlier popularity, with dogfighters entering their charges in informal weekly tournaments on dusty lots in the country’s major cities.

    It draws thousands of spectators and like most sports events in Afghanistan, it is almost exclusively a male pursuit. Some fights had been organized days in advance, with hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, riding on each.On a pale Friday morning a big dogfight tournament unfolds in a natural dirt amphitheatre on the Kabul’s outskirts. A ringmaster, a toothless old man with a turban and a limp, presided over the event. He carried a wooden staff that he used to beat spectators who crowded the dirt arena and members of the dogfighters’ entourages who blocked the view.

    A dog is declared the victor when he clearly establishes his dominance over the other. Contenders are usually pulled apart before they can inflict serious damage on each other. The stakes for dogfighters are too high to risk their charges any further. Dogs may be a costly investment for the average Afghan, but they can also make their owners money.

Pubblicato in: Lorenzo Tugnoli, Photo