By JASON STRAZIUSO
Associated Press Writer AP
Saturday, July 21
KABUL, Afghanistan - People in war zones want to read Harry Potter, too.
About 50 lucky foreigners working in Afghanistan got their hands on copy of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" on its release date Saturday, beating many of their friends back home who live near more conventional bookstores.
"I sent several text messages to friends and none of them had it yet, and they all said 'I can't believe you're in Kabul and you got the book before us,'" said Jayne Cravens, 41, of Henderson, Kentucky, a U.N. worker.
John Connolly, an executive with Paxton International, a logistics and moving company, bought 50 copies of the book in Dubai at the exact time of its release in London. He boarded a plane to Kabul a couple of hours later with the books on board.
"Harry Potter is released worldwide at the same time. As a logistics company based in Afghanistan for five years, we saw every reason to include Afghanistan," said Connolly, who asked customers to donate a book to the American University in Kabul in exchange for the free shipping of the book. "It was not on the publisher's list, that's for sure."
Connolly said customs agents in Kabul just smiled at the books and waved him through. Soon after he called Cravens, who rushed to Paxton's office and ran inside "like she was 9 years old on Christmas morning."
"It was absolutely wonderful watching her jump up and down. She definitely got the bicycle she'd asked Santa for," Connolly said. "That's the kind of reaction we're getting."
Steve Landrigan, of Boston, Massachusetts, called it a "great joy" to be able to read Harry on its release date in Afghanistan, a location where newly released books and movies are a rare treat.
"In Afghanistan you need to laugh and to have pleasant things happen, and I think this book is going to be one of those things," he said.
Cravens said her computer broke down on Saturday with a virus, giving her ample time to read. She was on page 100 when a reporter called her several hours after she picked up her copy.
"I thought it was a great idea for the company to do this. I can't believe it," she said. "There are so many things you can't get in Kabul, but you can get Harry Potter on the day it's released."
Read how this came to be....
A Broad Abroad - Afghanistan | A Broad Abroad - Main Menu | contact me
The personal opinions expressed on this page are solely those of Ms. Cravens, unless otherwise noted.