91-year-old Afghan receives German check-up

MAZAR-E-SHARIF, Afghanistan – Ninety-one years ago, Amanullah Khan was the King of Afghanistan and Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the United States. World War I had just ended, yet the Third Anglo-Afghan War raged in Afghanistan and Din Muhammad was born.

Ninety one years later he is still alive and is one of the oldest Afghans living in Afghanistan; a country where the average livespan is 44-years-old according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Fact Book.

The native of Mazar-e-Sharif was treated for asthma and coughing at the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Medical Facility at Camp Marmal Feb. 2, becoming the oldest Afghan to be treated at the facility.

“He has improved since treatment,” said German Navy Maj. Klaas Oltmanns, Camp Marmal Medical Facility physician and native of Oldenburg, Germany. “In comparison to western countries, he is doing fine as a 91-year-old man.”

During his lifetime, Muhammad spent his first 20 to 30 years farming the land of Mazar-e-Sharif and later opened up his own restaurants and coffee shop.

“A long time ago, foreigners came to my shop and left their baggage in my care while they travelled around Afghanistan,” Muhammad proudly recalled.

The wrinkles on his face show a history of Afghanistan. One wrinkle from the Russians, another wrinkle from the Taliban and another from the insurgency.

“I want a calm situation,” he added. “Everybody wants that for their own country, and I do too. I want the whole world to feel this feeling.”

He has seen a lot in his long life and now he sees ISAF, which is assisting the Afghan government in extending and exercising its authority and influence across the country, creating the conditions for stabilization and reconstruction.

“I have good memories of ISAF,” he added.

Muhammad credits, “Physical activity, working on a farm, and not thinking too deeply about everything,” for his long life.

He says he hopes to live to be at least a 100, and now he spends most of his time studying the Koran and history books. “When I read stories about the past, I can relate to it,” he added.

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