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Himalaya

Day 10: Chitral

Michael Palin - Himalaya'These boys are being forced to learn the Koran in Arabic, a language quite foreign to them,' whispers Siraj, as we watch.

'It's like reading prayers in Latin.'

Many of the boys watch us back, clearly much more interested in what we're doing than what they're learning.

Repetition of the Koran, at the expense of other subjects like science and maths, has become the main discipline of these madrassas, religious schools, which have increased in number since the Taliban was thrown out of Afghanistan and fled across the border.

'It won't last,' says Siraj. 'They have nothing much to offer the people.'

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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 10: Chitral
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Chitral
  • Book page no: 31

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