One of several exchanges in which Rory Stewart finds himself being presented as anything but what he is.  These introductions took place on his hike across hundreds of kilometres of remote Afghan mountain paths; each time, his guide described Stewart as he saw fit in the moment, regardless of the truth of the matter, and regardless of any attempt by Stewart to intervene.


‘Where is our guest from, Commander Seyyed?’ asked Mumtaz.

‘From Ukraine,’ said Qasim confidently.

‘He is a communist then, Commander Seyyed?’

Qasim paused.

‘No, I am not,’ I said in Persian.

‘No, he is not,’ repeated Qasim.

‘Is he a Muslim?’

‘Yes,’ said Qasim.  I was not.


Source: Rory Stewart, The Places in Between (London: Picador, 2014), p. 50

Photo credit: ArmyAmber at pixabay


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