By Khyber Shinwari, NBC Kabul Producer
The big news has traveled to the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan – there will be a royal wedding, and we are very excited.
I was very happy to hear about the royal engagement between Prince William and Kate Middleton. I have always been a fan of the prince because he has always seemed so kind and generous – like his mother, Lady Diana.
In this area, Princess Diana’s generosity was well known as a result of her efforts to rid Afghanistan of the landmines left behind by the Soviets.
At a time when the western world forgot, or maybe choose not to pay attention to, many places – whether it be Afghanistan, Pakistan or Africa – Princess Diana showed up.
Photos of the beautiful princess holding African babies, or the hand of a man with AIDS caught our eye even if it was for a brief second. She made us feel like there are generous people in the world who care.
Growing up as an Afghan refugee in Pakistan, I saw Princess Diana as a symbol of goodness. From television and magazines, I saw how she helped those in need. I even remember her helping at a Pakistani Cancer Hospital at a time when much of the world couldn’t even locate Pakistan on the map.
I remember watching her funeral live on television in Pakistan in 1997. My family and I couldn’t hold back the tears for a woman we never met. And now to see William, who looks so much like her and seems to carry the same heart as his mother, get engaged – it simply makes me happy.
When I heard he gave his fiancé his mother’s ring, it stirred up feelings of love and loss once more: I felt sorry for him again because it reminded me of his loss, but I was also happy he could share a cherished memento of his mother's with the woman he so dearly loves.
What was also interesting to me is that Prince William picked a wife from a middle class family. He loves without bias – just like his mother. In my part of the world that doesn’t happen. Someone from a higher class is usually forbidden to marry someone of a lower class. It is heartwarming for us to know that they can marry for love.
I don’t think anyone will replace Princess Diana - at least not for many generations - but I hope that Kate will carry on her legacy.