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Bactrian Gold begins US Tour. The Kabul Case, a fictional short story, from Scriblist.com, captures the magic of the inspirational true story in Afghanistan.

LONDON, May 25, 2008: The Bactrian Gold, the legendary collection of over 2,000 artifacts from Afghanistan, opens today to the public for viewing at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. It is the inspiration in the fictional story ‘the Kabul Case’, written collaboratively by four British competition winning authors, published in the collection "Five Green Bananas", Book One from scriblist.com, in April 2008.

According to the National Geographical Society website, (quote) the famed Bactrian Hoard, a 2,000-year-old treasure cache from the graves of six Bactrian nomads was discovered in 1978 and is considered to be one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. Believed by many to have been lost or stolen during the ensuing years of conflict in the region, the Bactrian gold had, instead, been hidden by locals, who risked their lives to preserve and protect it. It was found intact in a presidential bank vault in Kabul in 2003.(end quote)

The true story inspired one author to conclude the fictional short story "The Kabul Case", in the online writing competition from scriblist.com in 2007. The winning competition entries have just been released in a book. "The Kabul Case", the fictional story, is one of five short stories from ‘Five Green Bananas', Book One from scriblist.com. ‘Five Green Bananas’ was written in competition by thirteen different authors aged between 14 and 64. They live on different continents and have never met. "The Kabul Case" is the longest story in the collection of five, coming in at almost 14,500 words. It begins in 2002 simultaneously set in London, England and in Kabul, Afghanistan.

In London, a mysterious man known as “Harrods” sits waiting in a darkened room. In Kabul, two young brothers, Rahin and Jamil are the breadwinners for the large family, whilst their landmine-injured father keeps to his bare room, taking care of his sole possessions, a thin metallic bookmark in a shabbily bound book. At the same time, an Irish mercenary in Kabul plans a delivery with military precision. What happens when their normal day is interrupted by the unexpected? When the brothers steal a case from a taxi during a street riot, after an attempted hijack they cannot foresee what impacts it would have on them, their mother and a much wider circle beyond the challenges of everyday survival. The adventure that follows finds the boys pursued by the owners of the case, whose contents remain unknown until the fifth and final chapter of the story. The affects of the theft touch them all and bring the unlikely figures together in a fast-paced adventure.

Jenny Persson (33, living in Munich Germany), who wrote the ending to ‘the Kabul Case’ says she introduced the Bactrian gold facts into the fictitious short story because, ‘it is such a wonderful tale. I also wanted to explore the impact on a single, local family, consider the impact on a country’s education system and on its culture rather than the aspects of war that we see in the news. I have always been fascinated by art history and the Bactrian Gold is unique.”

"The five stories broad range of themes has impressed us, " says Patrick Horne, Scriblist co-founder. "Young people have written about issues they feel important to them - from adoption and autism, to the impact of our carbon footprint on the future and global climate change."

About Scriblist.com Book One ‘Five Green Bananas’:
Scriblist was founded by two British teachers to promote creative writing within education. The internet-based collaborative writing platform, Scriblist.com, was set up to give aspiring writers – particularly talented younger writers – the chance to become published authors. However, competitions are open to all. The Book Two competition is now open in 2008.

Five Green Bananas consists of five short stories. The other four stories are called; ‘The Witness’, ‘How do you solve a problem like Maria?’, ‘Under the Acacia Tree’ and ‘2050’. The book title ‘Five Green Bananas’ refers to the five stories and the amateur nature of the authors.

The collection addresses classic themes of love and death, friendship and family, social injustice and violence, but also talks to contemporary subjects such as autism, adoption and the impact of today’s carbon footprint on the future. The book title refers to the five different stories and the amateur nature of the authors at the start of the project. Five Green Bananas is available for purchase at scriblist.com and from other leading retailers ISBN: 978-0-9558725-0-1 priced at £7,99

Further information available:
Scriblist Ltd and Scriblist.com news can be found at:
http://www.scriblist.com

Audio Extracts
from Book One, media coverage and YouTube web trailer can be found at: http://fivegreenbananasnews.blogspot.com

Contacts:
David Wade & Patrick Horne
Scriblist Ltd (Founders)
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)7919 678529

Jenny Persson
PR Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +49 176 297 07 696

About the Bactrian Gold Tour: (not affiliated to scriblist.com in any way)
For those interested in the unique exhibit - it is hosted by the National Gallery of Art Washington DC (May 25-Sept. 7, 2008), the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (Oct. 24, 2008-Jan. 25, 2009), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Feb. 22-May 17, 2009) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (June 23-Sept. 20, 2009), suitable for art and history lovers everywhere.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mission/afghanistan-treasures/, includes a virtual tour of the exhibition, downloadable podcasts and interactive features illustrating details of the artifacts and relating stories of key figures of the period - quote from National Geographic Society website, press release (28.04.2008)

Further Material on the Kabul Case - Story Three

Book Extracts

“Rahin sat on his wooden shoeshine box at his pitch in the Kabul bazaar. It was the freezing spring of the Islamic year 1423. The boy shivered in the dirty Nike fleece, which bore its counterfeit tick of suggested approval. He pulled his woolen hat lower over his ears, tucked his hands beneath his arms and scanned the passers-by for trade. His gaze missed nothing. Rahin was the main breadwinner for his family of seven brothers and sisters. He was eight years old.”

“Behind his back, the tall man was known as 'Harrods,' because he guaranteed to supply anything a customer required. He sat on the simple wooden chair waiting to reconnect to Kabul.”

“A servant appeared, setting down a tray carrying the ornate, silver samovar and small, burgundy-coloured Estekaan glasses with matching saucers from the Qajar Dynasty. He poured two glasses of familiarly -scented green tea. Then they were left alone.”

“His underground group had been particularly fastidious about the security of the Bactrian gold... It reflected the blend of cultures north of the Hindu Kush Mountains and the history of the Afghan Kings. Only Nadim and his closest colleagues in the team knew it was stowed inside the vault of the Central Bank, protected by a complex system of locks and a master key. The authorities had destroyed hundreds of other items in their searching, but no one had broken their omerta. …. Without the knowledge of the rest of the staff, he had dispersed the three parts of the master key. The holders did not know each other. He had chosen them personally; old friends with no connection to the Museum or authorities, with nothing special about them, except their honour. He had fought alongside them after the Russian invasion, and suffered alongside them in Shiberghan prison where they each had no family background, no class, and no ethnicity.”

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