4. This camel handler and trader is crossing the Hindu Kush mountains in the north of Afghanistan. Judging by the gray muzzles, these camels and their handler have probably been together for many years.
Camels are thought to be ugly by some, and they have been the butt of jokes in the west about how a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Afghans, however, would praise the work of such of a committee, and would never think a camel ugly.
Camels represent much of the privately held wealth of Afghanistan. With some exceptions, trading values in the camel bazaar run many times the value of horses. Horses cannot carry loads for any distance, and they do not have the strong and steady demeanor and loyalty to their handlers which is essential to carrying heavy loads over the long dry distances typical of the deserts in the middle east.
Camels have a low tolerance for stupidity. They will respond to stupid requests by their handlers by spitting on them, muttering camel curses, and refusing to do any work.