The author.

We are in Afghanistan. I have felt called to this country since 1994, perhaps even before. We have always understood that we should be here as a sign of hope, and that if we lose hope for this country, we are no longer of any use here, and should go.

We first came here in 1996, under the Mujahideen. Then from 1999 –  2001 we lived in Mazar-i-Sharif, in the North, under the Taliban. That all ended badly with the evacuation, post 9/11.

We came back to Northern Afghanistan in 2003 and were here until the end of 2005.That was a tough few years. When we returned to Australia and had readjusted, we both, separately, believing that perhaps our time here had finished, gave Afghanistan back to God.  But God said, ‘Afghanistan? Its ok, you can keep it’

And so here we are again. Since May 2008, we are back, in Kabul. Five years here? Six? I don’t know. This is the fourth Government we have seen in 10 years. Security is the worst I have ever seen, and when we first came here in 96, the city was still being shelled. But we will stay here, for the time being.

We still have hope for this country.


aid worker. author. artist. academic. apostle. cartoonist. consultant. critic. doodler. dad. dissident. epicurean. emancipist. husband. humanitarian. intellectual. internationalist. itinerant. father. philosopher. photographer. phil sparrow. peripatetic. pioneer. piano tuner. polyglot. reader. writer. runner (sort of).

not so big on sport…


4 thoughts on “The author.

  1. Gday Phil,
    Just thought I’d drop a note to say hello. Was talking to my friend about our Scripture Union camps, and I wanted to explain a bit about you work in Afghanistan to her.
    I have passed your blog on to Dad.
    We are living in Busselton now, Mum and Dad are in a lifestyle village about 5km from my beachside villa.
    I am currently working in tourism, just to start driving limos before heading up north to Wiluna next year to work with the Martu people. I am hoping to one day work in a training role with Aboriginal people.
    Hope all is well for you,

  2. Hi Phil. Got your comment on my blog. Would like to send email to explain the abbreviated version of what happened. Can’t find your email address. Would be grateful if you dropped me a line at vasco_pyjama at

  3. wandered over from sojourner’s site… love your photography, and your story is interesting. thanks for sharing. good luck with what is before you.

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