Ras’s Web Gems: Cowboys in Kabul

For arcane reasons relating to my other life as a consultant at the intersection of social media and public diplomacy,  I’m a connoisseur of videos produced by U.S. embassies around the world. I know, I know. It’s an oddball obsession, but every once in a while a video worthy of the late Charles Kuralt pops out of the ruck of official statements from USG spokespersons onto YouTube or Vimeo.

Here’s a video that shows what happened when some genuine American cowboys on an exchange program in Afghanistan attended a buzkashi competition. That’s the colorful Afghan sport in which two bands of horsemen play a sort of rugby on horseback with a goat carcass as the ball. The narration here is by the cowboy poet and ranch foreman Gail Steiger, out of Yavapai, Arizona.

Photo of Gail Steiger

Cowboy poet Gail Steiger.

I especially like the names of the three sponsors of the cowboys’ visit: the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society (an Afghan NGO), the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy in Kabul, and the Afghan National Buzkashi Federation.

4 Responses to Ras’s Web Gems: Cowboys in Kabul

  1. A pure gem, Rasoir. Sheer poetry.
    Worthy of the late Charles Kuralt? Certainly is.
    I think I’ll follow you in your ‘oddball obsession’.

    • Thanks, RDR. We’re fellow enthusiasts for a great many works of culture. For those interested in U.S. embassy videos, amazingly there is a Facebook group called VisDip that shares your interest.

  2. It is in fact a shame that embassies don’t do more reporting with new technology? Which would you rather receive: this video report on the program? Or one of those dry telegrams?

    • Well said, Brian. Perhaps only those who’ve spent a career reading those dutiful reporting cables can truly appreciate the power of new media for public diplomacy.

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