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« How can you be a Persian?" was already asking 17 th century French philosopher and writer Montesquieu in his famous essay ("Les Lettres Persanes") on cultural differences and beliefs and therefore on tolerance. Personally I love dogs and I had more than a dozen in the past thirty years. I always trained my dogs to be sociable towards other dogs. I am against vivisection and cruelty towards life creatures. As a photographer I have little interest for staged wildlife pictures.

Contrary to the populations of neighboring countries, Afghan people love dogs. Dogs are part of their rural and nomadic heritage and Kuchi dogs (from the Kuchi nomadic tribes) are famous across Afghanistan . Although not an excuse, dog fights are an old tradition in Afghanistan . As soon as the weather cools down thousands of Afghans gather every Friday morning for a few hours at Charman-e-Babrak in Kabul to watch and bet on fighting male dogs. The magnificent animals are of the Molossus type.

The fights are based on the male territorial instinct that does not allow another male to come close. Whenever challenged the dogs attack each other and grab the other dog's coat between their fangs. The bites are seldom deep and gory. When a dog concedes defeat it rolls on its back and submits or runs away. It is generally the end of the fight. The winner does not slaughter the looser. Those are not rooster or gladiator fights. The dog masters are proud of their animals and genuinely love them. Dogs are raised within the family and are not mistreated.

The photos shown here should be looked at as an ethnographic document on Afghanistan . It is not a eulogy of dog fights but simply information and an education document.

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