You may know the story. Meena Rahmani has opened a bowling alley, Strikers, in Kabul, Afghanistan. I just might be the most optimistic venture on the planet. Never mind the war zone, drones and ied's. This is a game, for men and women smack in the septum of the heart of darkness. Right under, or up the noses of Islamic Fundamentalists so conservative they make Sarah Palin look like the Good Witch of the North. Men and women playing together? Sharing shoes and balls? Keeping score - and the women might even win? And you know guys, they will throw that ball just a little bit harder every time a woman fist pumps a strike.
Optimistic enterprise? What else to call it? Meena has bet a wad of cash on the healing power of a game. And I think she is on to something. From school yards to prisons games are a way of defusing enmity and anger. A chance to channel negative energy into a positive outcome through the pure joy of competition. Oh sure it doesn't always work out. But anyone who has ever competed knows the feeling of mutual though grudging respect when the contest is over.