American Forces Soak Up Local Afghan Sports

By Erik Malinowski

No matter the reason, when you find yourself in a foreign land far from home, immersing yourself in the local sports customs can quickly bring forth a sense of comfort few other acts can. It’s like going to an English soccer match, or hailing jai alai in Spain. Sports can often unite people from different cultures in a uniform spirit of competition.

It’s no different for American service-members overseas that are helping to organize and lead reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Recently, those troops of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team were recently treated to a special game of Buzkashi, which combines elements of rodeo, polo, and field hockey. The match was being played to celebrate the wedding of the provincial governor’s son. (The governor himself, Abdul Jalil, was a participant in said match.)

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